Wetlands declared ‘endangered’

High country bogs and fens are unique ecosystems that occur along high country streams, drainage lines, valley edges and valley floors more than 720 metres above sea level in the ACT.

Unique wetlands in Namadgi National Park are now listed as ‘endangered’ to help protect native habitats and wildlife and the quality of ACT’s drinking water.

‘High Country Bogs and Associated Fens’ have been added to the ACT Threatened Ecological Communities List based on advice from the ACT Scientific Committee.

Namadgi’s bogs and fens are home to the critically endangered Northern Corroboree Frogs. Bogs are also habitat for native Broad-toothed Rats, Alpine Tree Frogs, Reik’s Crayfish and Alpine Spiny Crayfish. The wetlands play a significant and important role in filtering water that flows into the Lower Cotter Catchment area, which is the ACT’s main source of drinking water.

The ACT Government will now work to develop an action plan to engage with the NSW Government on cross-border management of Australia’s high country.

Planning for a new cemetery

Design work for the Southern Memorial Park (SMP), a new cemetery in south Canberra including a second crematorium, will begin shortly.

“Stage one designs and costings for the SMP will be prepared to start planning the infrastructure and landscaping for the site on Long Gully Road in south Canberra,” Minister for City Services, Chris Steel said.

Design work will start this financial year, with the remainder of the work to be completed in 2019-20. The designs will draw on the master plan for the site which was completed in 2012 and supported by extensive public consultation, financial modelling and environmental and heritage studies. The SMP will also incorporate feedback received during consultation late last year on a review of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Act 2003.

School crossing measures

The Canberra Liberals have called on the ACT Government to improve safety around Canberra’s school crossings.

Shadow Minister for Education Elizabeth Lee MLA said flashing lights and road crossing supervisors will “help protect more school children”.

“Solar powered flashing lights and clearer road markings would go a long way to encourage motorists to slow down when driving near schools,” Ms Lee said.

“In other states, flashing lights have proven very effective at reminding drivers to slow down in school zones.”

Ms Lee said all schools with traffic vulnerabilities should have a crossing supervisor to assist children as they cross the road.

“Sadly, it has taken this government more than two years to ‘trial’ supervisors at road crossings at only 20 schools with no indication of whether this trial will be adopted permanently or expanded.

“The government should confirm our valued crossing supervisors are here to stay and that all schools that need one will get one,” she said.

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