The Red Hill Regenerators ParkCare Group supports the recently released Red Hill Integrated Plan, which provides the means to bring certainty to the protection and management of the Red Hill environment.
The Plan is a well-researched, professional document that responds comprehensively to the Legislative Assembly Resolution from which it arose. The Plan strikes a good balance between the important need to provide strong protection for biodiversity both inside and outside the Red Hill Nature Reserve, protecting the amenity of residents and allowing for some limited development activity.
It provides an opportunity for adding several areas of woodland to Red Hill Reserve and limits development near Kent Street, Deakin to the existing built footprintThe Plan is a framework document that now requires a great deal of implementation activity, including funds, to deliver real outcomes. We trust (and remain vigilant) that the coming years will bring to fruition the strategic, well informed vision of the Plan.
The Red Hill Regenerators was awarded grant of $30,000 in 2019, to enable a small ACT population of Little Eagles to be tracked using GPS trackers which were attached to four birds. The birds were tracked travelling from the ACT north to Far North Queensland and south into Victoria.
The Red Hill Regenerators learned a lot about Little Eagle ecology and movement and the study of this bird. We learnt that the birds mainly observed hunting on Red Hill, outside of the breeding season, nested on Black Mountain, and that the value of Red Hill for the Little Eagle is as a foraging site. A roosting female (feeding on both rabbits or magpie was observed on a number of occasions). However, involvement in the study has also taught us that the Little Eagle has a complex relationship with the Wedge-tailed Eagle and that increasing hunting on the hill by a new and young pair of Wedge-tailed Eagles may have temporarily made Red Hill a less attractive foraging/roosting habitat for the Little Eagle.
The research will be ongoing. A report titled “The ecology and movement of the ACT’s adult female Little Eagle” was delivered on 21 June 2021 to the granting organisation, the ACT Department of the Environment & Sustainability Development Directorate and can be downloaded here.
The ACT Government published for public comment a Draft Integrated Plan for Red Hill, after sustained engagement from the Red Hill Regenerators, the Federal Golf Club and other stakeholders, and a resolution of the Legislative Assembly. On 16 June 2021, the Minister for Planning and Land Management, Mick Gentleman MLA informed the President, Red Hill Regenerators that the ACT Government had finalised the Plan.
For more than two decades the Red Hill Regenerators battled a near constant barrage of ad hoc, ill-conceived development proposals on land in and adjacent to Red Hill’s woodland. This was incredibly frustrating and time consuming. We, together with other local community groups, called for a strategic plan that takes a landscape focus that protects the woodlands key values and functioning and reflects community wishes before setting development options. The plan strikes a balance between providing protection for biodiversity both inside and outside the Red Hill Reserve, protecting the amenity of residents and allowing for some limited development activity. It provides an opportunity for adding several areas of woodland to Red Hill Reserve, limits development on Kent Street Deakin to the existing built footprint and to commercial/business purposes, seeks to enhance the ecological functioning and community use of open space corridors joining Red Hill to woodland patches in Hughes and Garran and allows for up to a 125 unit retirement village in the southern portion of the Federal Golf Course (well away from Red Hill Nature Reserve and at least 50m from any existing houses).
The Red Hill Regenerators consider that the Plan balances the diversity of community needs. The Plan is a framework document which now requires a great deal of implementation activity, including funds, to deliver real outcomes. We trust (and remain vigilant) that the coming years will bring to fruition the strategic, well informed vision of the Plan
The Federal Golf Club issued the following statement on 17 June 2021:
The draft Red Hill Integrated Plan was a very thorough piece of work which included wide ranging input from multiple agencies and community groups. The Club acknowledges the many contributions to this study and looks forward to continuing close contact with community groups as we work through the implementation of the Plan towards a Development Application.
This is a very important and pleasing day for the future of our Club. The Over 55 Development provides for our water and financial security, replaces ageing course and clubhouse infrastructure, improves course and practice facilities and provides much improved facilities for the local community including the ability to downsize and age in place in a beautiful environment. It secures our Club for the whole community.
Next steps with our Over 55 Development partner, Mbark, will involve consultation with the Government’s Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate (EPSDD) on implementation arrangements and preparation of a Development Application for the Over 55 Village and associated course changes working closely with Club members and the local community and based on the approved provisions contained in the Final Red Hill Integrated Plan.
Much more news and discussions to be had in the days ahead.
Bob Correll, Chair of the Board Development Committee.
More information can be found here.
The Regenerators submitted an application in March 2021, under the ACT Government 2020-21 Covid-19 Stimulus Community Connections Grant Program – CCGR2043, for a grant of $1646 to enable 200 tube stock native trees and shrubs to be planted on Red Hill to further enhance our multi year program of environmental repair through supplementary native plantings. Subject to receipt of the grant funds, the Regenerators will, in consultation with the ACT Parks & Conservation Service, select an appropriate location, contract to drill tree planting holes, and invite members and the community to undertake a community planting event. Ongoing plant protection, management and watering will be delivered by Regenerators volunteers. The grant was approved by Minister Emma Davidson, MLA, on 13 May 2021.
The Regenerators teamed up with the Southern ACT Catchment Management Group to apply in May 2021 to the ACT Government for a 2021-22 ACT Environment & Nature in the City grant for $26,746 for the eradication of around 4ha of horehound, which has been spreading rapidly and is now beyond the resources of the Regenerators to control effectively. The application comprises weed eradication by contract spraying, followed up by grass and forb seeding to stabilise the sprayed area. Later it is planned to plant 200 understorey tube stock to further repair the environment and reestablish small bird nesting opportunities. Volunteers from the Regenerators will contribute an equal value of effort through planting and maintaining the tube stock together with ensuring that any regermination of horehound is swiftly dealt with. Subject to receipt of the grant funds, it is planned to commence weed eradication in spring 2021, followed by seeding in 2022 and planting in 2023.
The application was successful, with $31,806 being granted in June 2021 to the Southern ACT Catchment Group, which will manage the project. More