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Protecting Our Bush on the Boundary

The Mulligans Flat and Goorooyarroo Nature Reserves, right on Gungahlin’s doorstep, have national significance for conservation. These two reserves represent the largest piece of a critically endangered woodland community in public hands anywhere in Australia. In themselves, they contain a diversity of habitats and are home to many threatened and unusual plants and animals.

These publicly accessible reserves are precious assets to our ‘Bush Capital’. Recognising this, in 2004 a project was developed titled ’ Managing Biodiveristy an the Urban Interface’, which involed GCG bringing together a range of government, research and community organisations to better promote these reserves and coordinate efforts to protect their natural heritage. Due to the sucess of this project, the “Bush on the Boundary” (BOB) reference group was fomed in 2006, and brings together:

  • Ginninderra Catchment Group
  • Conservation Council of South East Region and Canberra
  • ACT Department of Territory and Municipal Services
  • Australian National University
  • University of Canberra
  • CSIRO
  • Greening Australia
  • the Forde Development Group.

All of these organisations are undertaking important projects or contributing resources to better ensure the long term protection and management of these reserves.

Projects being undertaken by BOB participants include:

  • The National Capital Woodland Initiative (ANU CRES and ACT Research and Monitoring). A major long term research project to better understand woodland ecology and progressively restore biodiversity of the Mulligans Flat environment to it’s pre-European state.
  • Community Engagement in Conservation at the Bush / Urban Interface (Conservation Council). This is an NHT-funded initiative, which aims to investigate and develop ways to achieve higher status, protection and management of the woodlands by engaging and involving the community in conservation activities.
  • Community Monitoring Initiatives (Ginninderra Catchment Group and the University of Canberra). This project aims to involve community members in local environment monitoring projects. These include Waterwatch, Frogwatch, native turtle surveys and noxious weeds monitoring.
  • The Garden Bird Survey (Canberra Ornithologists Group) is a long term project that monitors bird species and numbers around the ACT. Baseline and ongoing information from newly-developed areas is of particular interest.
  • Greening Australia / Forde partnership to enhance the environmental values and amenity of the Forde development.

These and other initiatives being undertaken by BOB organisations have a strong focus on informing and engaging the community. The GCG’s community based noxious weed monitoring project is gathering vital information on the spread of Chilean Needle Grass, African Love Grass and Serrated Tussock in the Gungahlin area. The project is being undertaken in collaboration with Friends of Grasslands and is particularly focused on the urban areas. The data gathered will assist the ACT Government in identifying threat levels and targeting control activities to keep these highly invasive weeds out of Nature Reserves and other areas of high conservation value.

The Forde Development Group are also playing a role on the BOB reference group. Forde have sponsored the printing and distribution of a brochure on the Mulligans Flat Nature Reserve, and contributed funding to the design of othe visual display material. They have highlighted the importance of the Woodlands in their recent newsletters and have made promotional material available through their sales office.

Forde recognises its development is closely linked to the Mulligans Flat Reserve and are keen to play their part to help ensure their development is sensitive to the long-term conservation objectives of the Reserve. This includes actively encouraging new residents to get involved in conservation activities being offered, but also to think of their suburb as being an extension of the Reserve.

You can find out more about any of these projects or learn how you can get involved by contacting the Ginninderra Catchment Coordinator.

The group recently produced a brochure titled Living near Rural Land -which described issues to be aware of if you live near a working rural property.

Download the brochure here:



This project is funded through the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust, with contributions from the ACT Government.
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