Protecting and enhancing The Pinnacle does not stop at the boundary fence; we need also to influence the external environment in which The Pinnacle exists.
To this end, fotpin has adopted an advocacy role. External forums in which we are currently involved are listed below. We will pursue further advocacy opportunities as they arise.
Submission on the Exposure Draft of the ACT Strategic Bushfire Management Plan
The Friends of the Pinnacle were among many groups invited in July 2014 to comment on the Exposure Draft of the ACT's Strategic Bushfire Management Plan (SBMP). The SBMP sets out the direction for the community and the government to work together to reduce the risk of bushfires in the ACT.
Fotpin's submission addresses two aspects related to the SBMP.
- It reinforces the need to balance in Asset Protection Zones (APZ) with adjacent conservation values and outcomes, with particular reference to the Forest Block of the Pinnacle Nature Reserve.
- It draws attention to the scientific evidence that broadacre fuel reduction makes very little if any difference to protecting built assets, and suggests that the resources allocated to this are more likely to be effective for protecting houses in Canberra if redirected instead to other actions such as spatially targeted fuel reduction.
Click to read fotpin's full submission [ 51 kB].
Expenditure Review of the Parks and City Services (PACS)
The Friends of the Pinnacle were among many groups invited in October 2013 to make a submission to this review which aimed to identify options to place PACS on a sustainable financial footing, better aligning funding with services. The invitation requested responses to three questions:
- What services do you believe are most important for the Territory and to what standard should they be provided?
- How can the Government deliver current services more efficiently and productively?
- Are there any services you consider that the community should make a direct contribution to (a fee for service)?
Click to read fotpin's submission in response to these questions [ 125 kB].
Abengoa Solar Project, Belconnen
The Friends of the Pinnacle became aware of a referral of this project under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act the day before public comment closed (31 July 2012), and sent a brief submission.
The Abengoa Solar Project is proposed for the area near the corner of William Hovell and Drake Brockman Drives, south of Higgins. Background information and documents concerning the proposal may be found at the following location on the EPBC Act website.
Fotpin encourages the development of solar energy and other forms of power generation that have a reduced environmental impact. We are concerned, however, about the siting of the proposed Abengoa Project, requiring as it does the destruction of endangered eucalypt woodland.
Our submission therefore calls for a more detailed Environmental Impact Statement and for the consideration of alternative sites which would result in less undesirable impact.
Click to read our full submission [ 58 kB]
Cattle Grazing in North Kama
The Friends of the Pinnacle seek an urgent change to the way the North Kama property is managed. Cattle grazing is currently undertaken across the property to reduce fuel loads and fire risk to adjacent houses, in accordance with the ACT Government's Strategic Bushfire Management Plan. Current science indicates that this grazing regime will instead degrade biodiversity and provide negligible protection to adjacent houses.
Fotpin urges an end to livestock grazing in these threatened box-gum woodlands so that biodiversity can be enhanced, and so that community and government restoration activities including natural regeneration, planting and weed control can proceed and be more effective.
To see how this view was formed, read our arguments supporting this position [ 245 kB]
Letter to Minister, 30 Jul 2012 [ 23 kB]
Response from Chief Minister, 31 Aug 2012 [ 158 kB]
Kangaroo Culling on The Pinnacle Nature Reserve
The fotpin Coordinating Committee supports the 2012 cull at The Pinnacle Nature Reserve, and believe it is in the best interests of the reserve that it proceed.
The reasons for this can be found in the position statement prepared by the Committee in response to concerns raised by a local resident.
Draft ACT Pest Management Strategy 2011–2021
Friends of The Pinnacle made the following Submission to the public consultation process on the draft pest management strategy [ 360 kB]
Molonglo River Park Concept Plan
Friends of The Pinnacle made the following Submission to the public consultation process for the development of the Molonglo River Park Concept Plan [ 52 kB]
Review of the ACT Nature Conservation Act
The Nature Conservation Act 1980 is the chief legislation for the protection of native plants and animals in the ACT and for the management of the conservation reserve network. A review of the Act is being undertaken in early 2011 by the Department of the Environment, Climate Change, Energy and Water on behalf of the ACT Government.
Fotpin lodged a submission to the review containing some general observations as well as some specific suggestions for changes to the Act that would enhance our ability to care for The Pinnacle Nature Reserve.
Our submission [ 1.0 MB], the Discussion Paper for the review [ 1.9 MB], and a Consultants Report that informed the review [ 373 kB] can be downloaded from our website for reading.
Proposal for North Kama Ranger Station
North Kama is located between The Pinnacle Nature Reserve, William Hovell Drive and the Bottom Pinnacle (see the location map). Combined, these three areas cover some 280ha, and play a key role connecting the Belconnen Hills to the Molonglo and Murrumbidgee Rivers.
Fotpin would like to see this land put to a purpose sympathetic to conserving and protecting The Pinnacle and Kama Nature Reserves (the latter situated on the south side of William Hovell Drive).
To this end we have prop sed to the Chief Minister that consideration be given to establishing a Ranger Station on the site, to service the west Belconnen area and also that encompassed by the new Molonglo Valley development. This could serve as a focal point for ParkCare groups in these two areas. In time there site could also be used as an outdoor environmental education centre.
To read our full proposal see the letter to the Chief Minister [ 0.7 MB]).
A letter of support from local MLA and fotpin member Mary Porter can be viewed here [ 114 kB]).
On 9 March 2011 Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, replied to fotpin's letter about this matter and the inclusion of the Bottom Pinnacle (see below). The Chief Minister considers that our proposals have merit, but that before they may proceed certain policy, planning and consultative issues needing to be resolve. We thank The Chief Minister for his reply, and for his and Mary Porter's support for our endeavours at the Pinnacle
Response from the Chief Minister [ 406 kB]
Inclusion of Bottom Pinnacle in The Pinnacle Nature Reserve
fotpin is currently advocating the inclusion of the parcel of land referred to as the Bottom Pinnacle into The Pinnacle Nature Reserve. The Bottom Pinnacle is a broad strip of land extending from the southern tip of the current Pinnacle Reserve down to William Hovell Drive (see the location map).
Arguments for this include:
- it is a substantial parcel of land connecting the Pinnacle NR to lower slopes of the Molonglo Valley through Deep Creek and Kama Nature Reserve;
- it is currently not allocated to any particular use under the ACT’s Territory Plan. With the proposed new suburbs in the Molonglo Valley, visitation and potentially damaging use will increase if the Bottom Pinnacle is not dedicated for conservation and managed accordingly;
- Penny and Don have identified high quality grasslands there and in an adjacent paddock in North Kama, and it contains a large number of overstorey species and scope for natural regeneration;
- it’s a realistic use of the land, and would benefit from our restoration and conservation works; and
- we are already doing things down there (grass project, warren mapping, some weeding).
The Coordinating Committee, through Pax, has written to the Chief Minister proposing the Bottom Pinnacle and an adjacent, smaller paddock in the former North Kama lease be included in The Pinnacle Nature Reserve (see letter here [ 324 kB]). If our proposal is successful we'll need to reprioritise our efforts across the larger parcel of land.
On 9 March 2011 Jon Stanhope, Chief Minister and Minister for Territory and Municipal Services, replied to fotpin's letter about this matter and our proposal for the North Kama Ranger Station (see previous item). The Chief Minister considers that our proposals have merit, but that before they may proceed certain policy, planning and consultative issues needing to be resolve. We thank The Chief Minister for his reply, and for his and Mary Porter's support for our endeavours at the Pinnacle
Response from the Chief Minister [ 406 kB]
Equestrian Access to The Pinnacle Nature Reserve
The formal Canberra Nature Park Plan of Management (1999) specifies that equestrians may only ride within the Reserve on the Bicentennial National Trail, located between the cavalettis on Coulter and Springvale Drives. They are not permitted in the Forest Block or in the Dam, Hawker, Kama or Southern Paddocks.
Some equestrians - seeking the pleasure of a loop trail through the Reserve - have not remained on the approved track, with some straying some distance from formed tracks.
fotpin worked with the Parks and Conservation Service between August and November 2010 to identify a suitable loop trail for equestrians, and conditions for its use. The proposed loop trail allows equestrians to use the boundary track west of the ACTEW pump track, with additional fencing to prevent riders heading west from the Springvale Drive cavaletti.
On 4 January 2011he Chief Minister issued a press release [ 22 kB] announcing the new arrangements, which will be in place initially for a 12 month trial period.
fotpin welcomes the clarification of equestrian access to The Pinnacle, and the proposal to erect appropriate signage. We will monitor adherence to these new more liberal access rules during the 12 month trial and report back.
ACT Woodland Restoration Plan
In November 2010, the ACT Government convened a roundtable discussion on the development and implementation of an ACT Woodland Restoration Plan. The meeting was chaired by the Chair of the ACT's Natural Resource Management Council (Ian Fraser) and attended by the Chief Minister, senior TAMS officials, scientists, and representatives of environment groups, including ParkCare groups.
The purpose of forum was to seek advice and consensus on the scope, principles and on-ground priorities for management and planning activities that should be undertaken to continue to improve the quality, extent and connectivity of ACT's lowland woodland and wildlife habitat, particularly in relation to woodland birds. It was expected that the roundtable would provide a focus for a woodland restoration funding bid.
For more details, view the Woodlands Roundtable Background Paper [ 1.6 MB]
Pax attended on behalf of fotpin, and we were one of four ParkCare groups represented (others being Mount Painter, Cooleman Ridge and Mount Majura). The Coordinating Committee approved a written submission for Pax to present to the meeting: fotpin input to woodlands roundtable [ 153 kB]
Among the recommendations arising from the roundtable discussion was the establishment of a working group to continue the process to implement woodland restoration. Pax is a member of that group, and on behalf of fotpin will seek to integrate that plan with our restoration plans for The Pinnacle Nature Reserve.
Investigation into the Canberra Nature Park, the Molonglo River Corridor and Googong Foreshores
The Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, Dr Maxine Cooper, is undertaking an investigation into the Canberra Nature Park (nature reserves); the Molonglo River Corridor (nature reserves) and Googong Foreshores.
fotpin prepared a submission [ 218 kB] responding to the terms of reference as they relate to The Pinnacle.
Reports and papers commissioned for this investigation, including community consultation, may be found on the investigation website: http://www.environmentcommissioner.act.gov.au/publications/investigations/nature_reserves_investigation