ACT lowland native grasslands investigation:
Belconnen Naval Transmission Station (BNTS)
Summary of Commissioner’s recommendations
Recommendation 1: Urgent action is to be taken to restore the ecological condition of the Grassland, and provide opportunities for the Perunga Grasshopper, Golden Sun Moth and Ginninderra Peppercress to survive and thrive at BNTS.
Recommendation 2: Kangaroos are to be removed immediately from BNTS to achieve a stocking rate of 1 kangaroo per hectare or less. This is to be done by the land manager, preferably before the end of April 2008, to prevent impacts on pasture biomass occurring during the dormant 2008 winter season.
Recommendation 3: Kangaroo population numbers are to be maintained at the targeted level for the foreseeable future using fertility-controlled kangaroos only. A program to maintain this situation is to be implemented as needed. (This recommendation is made on the assumption that all remaining kangaroos at BNTS will be part of fertility control research programs.)Recommendation 4: Further reductions in the number of kangaroos at BNTS (i.e. even below the proposed stocking rate of 1 kangaroo per hectare) is to occur if recovery of the grassland does not improve over the next growing season even if research projects are compromised.
Recommendation 5:; Kangaroos are to be removed from BNTS by the most humane method suitable for that site having regard to advice from the AFP that firearms are not to be used at BNTS. (The Expert Panel has recommended sedating by darting followed by euthanasia by lethal injection.)Recommendation 6: The policy of the Conservator of Flora and Fauna, to the effect that translocation of eastern grey kangaroos is not an appropriate management technique, is to remain unchanged and that this policy position be confirmed to the Department of Defence immediately.
Recommendation 7: The interim grassland management plan and interim kangaroo management plan for BNTS are to be completed by the end of August 2008, by the land manager, in consultation with key stakeholders. These plans are to adopt adaptive management principles and be based on a stocking rate of 1 kangaroo per hectare or less prior to the 2008 winter.
Recommendation 8: Conditions at BNTS are to be reported on a quarterly basis to all relevant agencies and to the Commissioner’s Office. The Commissioner is to establish an independent group to assist her evaluate progress and report on this in her annual report.Recommendation 9: A long-term grassland management plan covering BNTS is to be developed prior to the abutting Lawson lands being developed for residential purposes. This plan should incorporate clear management objectives and be based on an adaptive management approach to protect the Grassland, Perunga Grasshopper, Golden Sun Moth and Ginninderra Peppercress at the BNTS. (The interim grassland management plan and interim kangaroo management plan (Recommendation 7) should be incorporated into the long-term plan. This long-term plan could cover all ACT natural temperate grassland areas.)
Recommendation 10: The Territory is to ensure that legal measures are implemented to protect and preserve the high conservation value of the Grassland and its threatened species when the land at BNTS is transferred from the Commonwealth to another entity. (This recommendation is made on the assumption that Territory laws will fully prevail post the transfer.)
Recommendation 11: The review of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Defence and ACT Government (TAMS) is to be completed by August 2008.