Tuesday, 21 June, 2011

The Australian Government has recently approved the Googong township and its Integrated Water Cycle system under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). This Act is the Australian Government's central piece of environmental legislation and provides a legal framework to protect and manage nationally and internationally important flora, fauna, ecological communities, heritage places and Commonwealth land.

The Pink-tailed Worm-lizard (Aprasia parapulchella) is listed as 'vulnerable' under the EPBC Act, and we have identified a number of this species on a section of the Googong site. CIC have committed to establish, rehabilitate and dedicate to public ownership, a 52 ha fenced Conservation Area to protect these species, as well as implement management measures to enhance the long-term habitat.

Googong's Integrated Water Cycle (IWC) system was also approved by the Australian Government under the EPBC Act. The system will reduce potable water consumption by around 60%, and recycle well over half of the waste water generated to enable key township open spaces to be irrigated year round. In fact Googong will be so water efficient, its 16,000 residents will use less water than just 6,500 residents in an average Australian community.

The EPBC approval is an important milestone in the town's development, and we are delighted to see that our recommendations have been so well received.

Over 23% of Googong is dedicated to open spaces for recreation and for the protection of local flora and fauna. There will be sports grounds, adventure play space, pedestrian and cycle trails, an ecologically restored chain of ponds, and native bushland will be rejuvenated with local species.

It is no wonder that Googong is already being heralded as a national benchmark for sustainable town planning, community building and livability.

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