On 24 June 2014, the Australian Government entered into an agreement with Riverview Projects (ACT) Pty Ltd to undertake a strategic assessment of a proposed urban development at West Belconnen, ACT and NSW. The development site, now referred to as Ginninderry, involves land to the west of the existing suburbs of Holt, Macgregor and Dunlop in the ACT, and land within NSW up to the Murrumbidgee River and Ginninderra Creek. The strategic assessment was undertaken in accordance with section 146 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
What development is proposed at West Belconnen, ACT and NSW?
A full description of the proposed development and related conservation commitments can be found in the program report (below).
The strategic assessment report (below) examines the impacts from the proposed urban development, associated services and infrastructure on matters of national environmental significance. The strategic assessment also includes planned conservation areas and corridors for the protection of biodiversity and to contribute to urban amenity.
Why undertake this strategic assessment?
The strategic assessment has assessed the impacts of the proposed urban development in the West Belconnen area on listed threatened species and ecological communities, listed migratory species and any other protected matters that may be present.
The strategic assessment ensures that direct, indirect and cumulative impacts are well understood and that avoidance, mitigation and offset strategies can be clearly described and addressed at a broader landscape scale. It also removes the need for individual assessments under Part 9 of the EPBC Act, thereby improving the efficiency and transparency of environmental assessment and approval processes.
As per the statutory requirements for strategic assessments, the draft Program Report and draft Strategic Assessment Report were displayed for public comment in 2016. Comments were invited from 14 May 2016 to 10 June 2016. The summary and response to public comments prepared by Riverview Projects (ACT) Pty Ltd are available below:
- EPBC Consultation Report: West Belconnen Conservation Corridor (PDF - 6.55 MB)
- EPBC Consultation Report: West Belconnen Conservation Corridor (DOCX - 5.2 MB)
Strategic assessment agreement
The Strategic Assessment Agreement describes the process to be followed for the strategic assessment and relevant requirements under the EPBC Act. Terms of Reference for the content of the strategic assessment are attached to the Agreement.
Final program and assessment report
Following the public consultation process, the draft program and assessment reports have been updated and finalised.
- Urban Development at West Belconnen: Program Report (PDF - 4.53 MB)
- Urban Development at West Belconnen: Program Report (DOCX - 34.36 MB)
- Urban Development at West Belconnen: Strategic Assessment Report (PDF - 15.89 MB)
- Urban Development at West Belconnen: Strategic Assessment Report (DOCX - 27.06 MB)
Endorsement and approval
On 18 July 2017, the Program for urban development and biodiversity conservation at West Belconnen as outlined in the Program Report (AT Adams Consulting, April 2017) was endorsed by the Minister under s. 146 of the EPBC Act.
On 1 September 2017, the Minister granted approval for classes of actions under the endorsed program. The approval allows for urban development and biodiversity conservation at West Belconnen as identified in the program to proceed without the need for further approval from the Minister.
Further information on the development at West Belconnen can be found on the project website:
For general enquiries about strategic assessments, or the EPBC Act, please contact the Department's Community Information Unit on 1800 803 772.