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The Conservation Council hosted its first Environment Exchange of 2021 last night on the ‘Lawson north Grasslands’. The event attracted participants from across the Canberra region, with local members Peter Cain MLA and Jo Clay MLA amongst the attendees.

We were pleased to welcome guest speakers Geoff Robertson from Friends of Grasslands, and grassy ecosystem ecologist Rainer Rehwinkel for this online event, alongside Executive Director of the Conservation Council, Helen Oakey. 

Geoff opened the presentations for the night outlining the current development proposal, including the footprint of the development and the impacts of both Stages 1 and 2. Currently, the proposal divides the land into 5 zones from A to E. Each of these zones have important ecological features, varying from heritage values to nature conservation values. 

Rainer followed with a presentation of the species identified at the site. Many threatened species call this grassland home, including Striped Legless Lizards, Golden Sun Moth, Ginninderra Peppercress and Superb Parrot, among others. Rainer also outlined the importance of Lawson north for these species, including how the site supports local declining flora and fauna. 

Attendees then had the opportunity to ask further questions to panel members about the development, sparking interesting discussions around the potential of weed invasion on the site, the role of ACT Government in managing the land, and the viability of the site becoming an ‘offset’ site for other developments. 

The community is now waiting on the EPBC referral for the site, as well as a new proposal following more comprehensive ecological surveys by Defence Housing Australia. An important message from the event was that the community can play a central role in shaping the future of this site to make it a place that supports both the local community and the biodiversity values of the site. 

We would like to thank everyone who supported the Conservation Council and attended our online event, with special thanks to Geoff and Rainer for contributing your time and expertise to the event.

If you missed it, you can watch the video recording of the webinar below.


  • Sign and share the petition to Barry Jackson, Managing Director, Defence Housing Australia
  • Come along to the Lawson Market Day on Saturday March 27th
  • Reach out and volunteer for the Conservation Council at stalls or with letterboxing
  • Follow @ConservationACT, @sayhellolawson and Friends of Grasslands on Facebook
  • Sign up for updates to stay informed on the proposed development

Tuesday 23rd February 2021, 5.30 – 7pm

Online, via Zoom

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