Restore ACT and Greater Goorooyarroo Woodlands
This six-year project will consolidate and connect 60,000 hectares of the largest remaining box-gum grassy woodland landscape in Australia, enhancing a biodiverse and carbon storing landscape that is resilient to climate change.
The project will protect and enhance the box–gum woodlands through on-ground restoration and regeneration works in ACT nature parks and the Greater Goorooyarroo area, which straddles the ACT and NSW border and includes rural residential and urban areas and three nature reserves.
The project is funded by the Australian Government Clean Energy Future Biodiversity Fund and the ACT Government and brings together state, territory and Australian government agencies, researchers, local landholders, and Aboriginal and urban communities.
The ACT Government is working closely with Greening Australia Capital Region and, in the NSW component of this project, NSW’s Murrumbidgee Catchment Authority to deliver this project. Greening Australia will oversee much of the restoration work and community engagement, which will be informed by ongoing research outcomes from projects led by the ANU and CSIRO.
Outcomes will include:
- new grass, shrub and tree plantings
- improved ground cover, which supports productivity, soil health and wildlife
- improved habitat connectivity between existing woodland areas
- controlled pests and weeds
- controlled erosion
- more wildlife, including threatened species
- well-functioning woodland remnants that improve in size, condition, structure and connectivity
- a unified vision of landscape restoration and prosperity in the Goorooyarroo area.
The project is contacting people and organisations who are interested, want to get involved and/or would like to support the project in other ways; for example, NSW rural land holders and Aboriginal and Landcare groups with local experience and knowledge.
Landholders will play an important part in the project, particularly in connecting stands of box–gum to the five larger remnant woodlands, creating wildlife corridors and controlling soil erosion and pests.
Restoration is not at the expense of agricultural production and case studies show that production can increase with restoration.
The ACT Government recognises the importance of Aboriginal involvement in the project, particularly as it presents opportunities for caring for country.
Aboriginal people and groups in the ACT region are being asked to share their aspirations and interest in woodland restoration in the early stages of the project. A number of projects or workshops for Aboriginal people in the ACT region will take place during the project.
Through getting Aboriginal people 'on country', the woodlands restoration project will create opportunities for intergenerational cultural exchange.
Heritage in the woodlands
Aboriginal and European heritage sites will be identified and documented during the site preparation and restoration process. Woodland restoration works will avoid sensitive heritage sites. Where possible, the sites’ values will be recognised by improving the landscape around them.
Opportunities for further identifying and protecting heritage sites may arise as restoration works are underway, particularly as people engage and work with the landscape.