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Monday, 15 June 2009
Page: 6070


Mr Abbott asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, in writing, on 12 May 2009:

(1)   Is he aware that the New South Wales (NSW) Government is planning to sell, for development, a parcel of bushland in Amourin Street in North Manly, Sydney, which has for many years formed part of Quarry Park.

(2)   Is he aware that this park, including the bushland that the NSW Government is proposing to sell, is listed with the NSW Heritage Council.

(3)   Has the Government had any discussions with the NSW Government about the presence of rare or threatened species on this site.

(4)   What steps can and will he take to ensure that this sale is not contrary to any Commonwealth law, regulation or policy.

(5)   Are there any instances of the Commonwealth purchasing land for environmental purposes; if so, what are the details.

(6)   Will the Government consider obtaining this land for permanent inclusion in the park.


Mr Garrett (Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts) —The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1)  

   & (2) I was not previously aware of the details of the proposal in question.

(3)   Officers from my Department have confirmed with the New South Wales Crown Lands Department that the threatened species Acacia terminalis subsp terminalis occurs on the North Manly site.

(4)   The New South Wales Crown Lands Department also indicated that the land will be withdrawn from sale and reserved under the Crown Lands Act 1989 (NSW) for an appropriate conservation purpose and ongoing management of the site will be assigned to Warringah Council.

(5)   The Australian Government can assist private conservation organisations and state conservation agencies to purchase priority land for conservation, by providing up to two-thirds of the land purchase price. To take advantage of this initiative, a buyer who is interested in purchasing the land to manage it for conservation as part of the National Reserve System would need to come forward. Provided the prospective purchaser has one-third of the money to support the purchase, they would be able to seek funding to purchase the land under the Australian Government’s Caring for our Country initiative.

(6)   In reference to the parcel of land at 13A Amourin Street, North Manly, an initial assessment of the conservation values of this parcel of land against national priorities reveals that while there may be local or regional values on the parcel, other parcels of land may have a higher priority for inclusion in the NRS.