Help stop the destruction of 400 million-year-old Ainslie Volcanics

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Help stop the destruction of the Ainslie Volcanics 

Overdevelopment and increased traffic on Limestone Ave, removal of grassland and endangered species by the NCA’s proposed approval (1000+ residents) on this very significant site. You would be forgiven for not knowing about the NCA's public consultation, it was released during COVID-19.

“Mount Ainslie has significant historical and cultural value and particularly within the Canberra community. As a site of middle Silurian dacite outcrops, with its lithological and volcanic structural variability, it is a site of National Geoheritage significance.” Prof. V Semeniuk: Geoheritage Australasia Inc 

Don’t let this beautiful 400 million years in creation site go from this, to the developer's (Doma) latest design which has an 8 storey building and tennis court (which extends beyond the allowed landscape zone) completely obliterating the 400 million-year-old outcrops, extending to the top of the ridge. Why is this being allowed? The site has Geological and Aboriginal significance.

The Ainslie Volcanics have been recognised by the community as significant heritage areas and have been previously nominated for ACT Heritage listing as sites of outstanding natural beauty and significant geological heritage sites requiring preservation. These wishes for preservation have been made well known to the NCA and should have been undertaken as part of the review by the EPBC referral.  But they have been ignored. The fact that accumulated environmental offsets have also been utilised by the developer (Doma) on several other sites throughout the Australian Capital Territory needs to also be considered in totality by the planning bodies - The NCA, Department of Environment and the ACT Government.

It is inappropriate that the ACT Government, as a planning body, appears to use the “we have no jurisdiction over the NCA” excuse as a buffer, and has chosen to keep out of these important planning decisions until after stage 1 of construction is complete. 

Given the lack of deference, the NCA has displayed to the National Capital Design Review Panel (NCDRP), who suggested that the Ainslie Volcanics be incorporated into the landscape as mentioned in the NCA Report on Consultation commentary to DCP 19/02

The National Capital Design Review Panel (NCDRP) is an advisory body and a proponent (the developer) is not bound by the recommendations of the panel. The NCA did, however, engage with the developer (Doma) to work through the matters raised by the NCDRP, with some recommendations being reflected in the proposed Concept Plan and others representing a compromise.

The final decision-making power resided with the NCA.

And following the Report from Geoheritage Australasia Inc by Prof. V Semeniuk: Geoheritage assessment of the Mount Ainslie Volcanics, Canberra, ACT, whose report states that the site has national and regional significance and supports the communities wishes to preserve the Ainslie Volcanics:

“Mount Ainslie has significant historical and cultural value and particularly within the Canberra community. As a site of middle Silurian dacite outcrops, with its lithological and volcanic structural variability, it is a site of National Geoheritage significance.”

The NCA should not be a body that overrides sound community concerns and advice especially those of the NCDRP.  As the southernmost flow of the volcanic series, it is nationally important that this significant volcanic outcrop site is retained, as it has been in previous development designs for the site. The NCA, as the final decision maker, must be balanced and community-focused, which, I believe it has demonstrated by these Concept plan approvals, it is not and accordingly must be held accountable.

Please add your voice to this petition which closes today!