In the northern suburbs of Canberra is a remarkable example of what South-east Australia looked like before colonisation. Picture this: an ocean of golden grass rippling across the landscape. On close inspection, you can see vibrant wildflowers sprinkling the ground. Century old Yellow Box trees creak in the wind, serenely framing the majestic planes. This story has been forgotten in most of Australia as urban development and agriculture have changed the land irrevocably. But it still exists in a few places, one of them, being Lawson grasslands. This extraordinary area, north of Lawson in the heart of Belconnen, needs your help.
In the face of strong community opposition, Defence Housing Australia (DHA) is proposing to build approximately 570 houses on this site. In 2013 initial development approvals were successful but the environmental controls hindered DHAs plans. Gazetted as National Land, for the development to proceed DHA must gain Federal approvals from the National Capital Authority and the Federal Environment Department.
Canberrans can see what DHA can’t – that Lawson grasslands isn’t just vacant land; it has significant environmental and heritage values that deserve to be protected.
The values are not only locally significant, but nationally. The site contains large areas of Natural Temperate Grasslands and Box-Gum Woodlands; both nationally listed critically-endangered ecological communities. It is also home to many extraordinary and vulnerable species including, The Golden Sun Moth, Grassland Earless Dragon, Perunga Grasshopper, and Keys Matchstick Grasshopper.
Over 100 experts agree that any urban development at the site of Lawson grasslands is unlikely to ever be consistent with maintaining the significant environmental and heritage values at the site.
Join us in the fight to #SaveLawsonGrasslands – help protect this nationally-significant environment!