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Thursday, 14 November 2002
Page: 6470

Senator Nettle asked the Minister representing the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 15 October 2002:

With reference to the rejection of the Blacktown City Council's application of August 2000 for funding under the National Reserve System Program to purchase the Remnant Cumberland Plain Woodland at Lot 101, DP 863828, Norman Street, Prospect:

Given that, in a letter listing some of the reasons for the rejection of the application, Dr David Kay (Assistant Secretary, Parks Australian South) mentioned that the Land and Environment Court rejected a 55-lot development application by the owner of the land:

(1) Is the Minister now aware that the court is now considering a 26-lot application by the owner.

(2) Given this new information, will the Minister reconsider the funding application.

(3) Will the Minister reconsider the funding application if the 26-lot application is successful.

Senator Hill (Minister for Defence) —The Minister for the Environment and Heritage has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

(1) Yes.

(2) The proper process in this case is to await the decision of the Land and Environment Court.

(3) It will be open to Blacktown City Council to reapply for support under the National Reserve System program with a modified application, however the basis for the rejection of the earlier application was not related to density of proposed development. Cumberland Plains Woodland is listed as an endangered ecological community under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. Any proposed development on the property likely to have a significant impact would require a referral for decision by the Commonwealth. The referral process provides opportunities for interested parties to comment on the proposal.