The Western Greenway Community Panel met on 27 July. Background to the Western Greenway project, links and equestrian issues can be found in the previous post of 23 July. The Panel is a large group of diverse interests with the potential to descend into a unproductive rabble. Surprisingly, thanks to an excellent facilitator, the meeting was very amicable and was able to produce an agreed Communique at the end of the evening. The Minutes of the meeting are also now available.
In summary, evidence was presented for a high level of environmental and cultural values in Western Greenway including:
- the heritage listed Tuggeranong Homestead, outbuildings and rural setting
- the well known stone wall demarking the northern limit of old Tuggeranong
- identified indigenous sites along an ancient travel route which would be increased if the area had a proper archaeological study
- geological anomalies in the River corridor
- high natural values including some at-risk species
- significant recreational resources
There was also impediments to development such as serious hydrological issues across the site. Parts of the Vikings land is unusable because of poor drainage and causes problems for the archery club.
Apart from the ancient travel corridor the Bicentennial National Trail is the only linear feature in the landscape, most of the other values are point specific. The archery club land does take up a huge area to the west of the Town Centre.
Once the Vikings started talking about the possibility of a recreation focus for the area and the Business Forum representative agreed that sticking residents out at the edge of Tuggeranong was not necessarily the answer to the Valley’s problems there actually seemed to be collective agreement that there were alternative solutions.
From ACTEA’s point of view the BNT was taken seriously and there seemed to be general agreement that it should be protected. It is early days yet but signs are positive.