New Suburbs for Canberra Sparks Controversy
Monday March 2, 2009
Proposed for Canberra's up-coming suburbs North Weston and Molonglo is the environmentally friendly initiative of energy-saving homes, but plans for a man-made lake threatens wildlife.
Next month 225 blocks of land for the Canberra suburb of North Weston will be released by Defence Housing Australia.
Land in Molonglo will be auctioned later in the year with some of the land being developed by the Land Development Agency.
Altogether, the two Canberra suburbs are being constructed to house about 55,000 people over the next 30 years.
For the new Canberra suburbs, the ACT Planning and Land Authority are implementing change of power to photovoltaics, which is an energy system that combines heat and power solar systems.
Another environmentally friendly initiative that the suburbs are taking are the deployment of 10-star energy rated homes. In Molonglo, there will be small gas-fired electricity generators to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
However, ACTPLA's chief planning executive Neil Savery also speaks of a contested 6.7km lake for the new suburbs.
"Its conception is not an amenity. That wasn't the reason why the lake was conceived. It first and foremost is a stormwater management solution."
But conservationists are wary that the Canberra lake will threaten endangered species such as the pink-tailed worm lizard.
- November