Reserve Management Plans
Under the Nature Conservation Act 2014 (section 177) the custodian of a reserve must prepare a reserve management plan for the reserve. The ACT Parks and Conservation Service is the land custodian of public land reserves. In the Nature Conservation Act 2014, a reserve means a wilderness area, a national park, a nature reserve, a catchment area and any other area of public land reserved under the Territory Plan or prescribed by regulation to be a reserve (may include a Special Purpose Reserve).
A Reserve management plan identifies what is important about an area (its values), what is hoped to be achieved in the management of the area (objectives) and the means by which the objectives will be achieved (policies and actions). A reserve management plan provides direction and guidance to the land custodian, visitors, neighbours, volunteers, and others with an interest in the area. Preparation of a reserve management plan includes extensive consultation with key stakeholders and a statutory requirement to consult members of the public.
The ACT has the following reserve management plans:
- Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan 2018 DI2018-20
- Tidbinbilla Plan of Management 2012 DI2012-193
- Namadgi National Park Plan of Management 2010 DI2010-192
- Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve Plan of Management 2010 DI2010-280
- Lower Cotter Catchment Strategic Management Plan 2007 (non statutory)
- Lower Molonglo River Corridor Plan of Management 2001 DI2001-298
- Canberra Nature Park Plan of Management 1999 DI1999-163
- Murrumbidgee River Corridor Plan of Management 1998 DI1997-268
For more detail on these plans, see below.
Other management plans
Under the Planning and Development Act 2007 other areas of public land such as lakes, urban open space, and recreation areas have a 'Land Management Plan'. For further information on these areas visit the Transport Canberra and City Services website or call Canberra Connect on 13 22 81.
Plans notified under the Planning and Development Act 2007:
- Woden and Weston Creek's Urban Parks and Sportsgrounds and Belconnen's Urban Parks, Sportsgrounds and Lake Ginninderra DI1998-242
- Inner Canberra's and Tuggeranong's Urban Parks and Sportsgrounds DI2000-143
- Canberra's Urban Lakes and Ponds DI2001-173
- Urban Open Space and Public Access Sportsgrounds in the Gungahlin Region DI2007-298
Reserve management plans
Molonglo River Reserve Management Plan 2019
The Molonglo River Reserve - Reserve Management Plan sets out how the reserve will be managed and restored over time to protect flora and fauna, provide recreational opportunities and minimise the risk of bushfire. It sets out a clear and agreed set of long term objectives for the reserve and outlines the policy approaches for achieving the objectives.
The plan also gives clear guidance on how the land and waters of the reserve will be managed and used. Extensive consultation with a wide range of groups and individuals was undertaken during various stages of development of the Reserve Management Plan.
Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan 2018
The Lower Cotter Catchment provides water for the Cotter Reservoir. After the catchment was severely burnt in the 2003 firestorm, the ACT Government committed to return the area to a stable and healthy catchment. As part of the catchment’s rehabilitation, nearly 15,000 community volunteers have planted over 306,000 trees and shrubs. Recreation activities have been restricted to limit erosion and environmental damage.
The ACT Government has prepared the Lower Cotter Catchment Reserve Management Plan to guide management of the catchment over the next 10 years. The plan sets out how the reserve will be managed and restored over time to a fully-functioning landscape of native vegetation, producing clean water, conserving natural and cultural values, and providing low-impact recreational opportunities for ACT residents and visitors.
A draft plan was released for public comment from 16 January to 10 March 2017, with 24 submissions received. A summary of the comments and how the plan has responded to them is in the consultation report.
Tidbinbilla Plan of Management 2012
Tidbinbilla (6466 hectares) is located in the foothills of the mountain ranges that dominate the western half of the ACT. It is about 40 kilometres south-west of the Canberra city centre and is adjacent to Namadgi National Park.
Tidbinbilla is largely known as a great place to view native Australian wildlife in a natural setting and to enjoy outdoor activities such as walking and picnicking with family and friends. Tidbinbilla has been a popular part of the ACT reserve system for more than 40 years and is valued by both Canberra residents and visitors from interstate and overseas.
Tidbinbilla has mountain ranges, foothill valleys, spectacular exposed granite tors and sheltered streams. Vegetation communities range from subalpine snow gum on exposed windswept ridges to woodlands, grassland and shrublands in the valley. Tall wet forests thrive in the moist sheltered gullies, grass trees add character to open slopes above the valley floor. These vegetation communities provide habitat for a wide range of native species.
There is abundant evidence of traditional Aboriginal occupation dating back to approximately 21,000 years ago, and European settlement from the late 1830's. The valley holds a great deal of significance for local Aboriginal people and for some former residents and descendants of the early pastoralists.
Tidbinbilla is also part of the Australian Alps National Parks system protecting much of the alpine, subalpine and montane environments of mainland Australia.
The Tidbinbilla Plan of Management is a disallowable instrument and available on the ACT legislation register.
See the Tidbinbilla Plan of Management 2012 summary for more information.
Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve Plan of Management 2010
Located approximately four kilometres east of Canberra Civic Centre, Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve is a largely artificial habitat created by the filling of the Lake Burley Griffin. It is one of the most valuable freshwater wetland habitat areas in the ACT and adjacent region of NSW, with the presence of permanent shallow water bodies giving the wetlands regional importance as a drought refuge. 170 bird species have been sighted in the reserve and the area also supports other terrestrial and aquatic fauna.
Jerrabomberra Wetlands is one of 13 ACT wetlands included in A Directory of Important Wetlands in Australia. Internationally, the wetlands are important because they provide reliable habitat for a number of migratory bird species protected under international agreements.
The Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve provides linking habitat between the woodland and open forest of Mount Pleasant and Mount Ainslie to the north and Jerrabomberra Creek catchment to the south. The location of the reserve close to Canberra City provides an opportunity for education and research activities related to wetland ecosystems and recreational activities related to the area’s natural and cultural values.
The Jerrabomberra Wetlands Nature Reserve Plan of Management 2010 is a disallowable instrument and available on the ACT legislation register.
Namadgi National Park Plan of Management 2010
Namadgi National Park is the largest conservation reserve in the ACT covering approximately 46% (106,094 hectares) of the Territory. The park includes the rugged mountain ranges and broad grassy valleys in the western and southern parts of the ACT.
Namadgi National Park protects the upper parts of the Cotter River Catchment, Canberra’s main supply of water, and is important for conserving snow gum woodlands, subalpine fens and bogs, grasslands and montane forest communities providing habitat for a diverse range of species. The park also includes much evidence of past Aboriginal use of the land and remnants of early European pastoral activity. It is popular for low key recreational activities such as bushwalking, camping, cycling and rock climbing.
Namadgi is one of eleven national parks and reserves in the Australian Alps that are collectively known as the Australian Alps National Parks. These parks are managed cooperatively to provide protection for much of the alpine, subalpine and montane environments of mainland Australia.
The Namadgi National Park Plan of Management is a disallowable instrument and available on the ACT legislation register.
See the Namadgi National Park Summary for more information.
Lower Cotter Catchment Strategic Plan 2007 (non statutory)
The Lower Cotter Catchment Strategic Management Plan applies to approximately 30% (approximately 6000 hectares) of the Lower Cotter Sub-catchment, which was previously managed within the former ACT Forests estate. Pine plantations within this area were destroyed in the 2003 bushfire.
The strategic plan recognises that water is the most important value of the Lower Cotter Catchment and outlines a series of strategies for sustainable land use to restore the Lower Cotter Catchment to a stable condition that supports the delivery of clean water, and also allows for a range of activities that are compatible with the protection of water resources.
Activities outlined in the strategy to support water values include: decommissioning roads; improved road drainage and stabilisation works; creation of sediment basins and wetlands; vegetation planting and additional monitoring and scientific studies.
See the Lower Cotter Catchment Strategic Management Plan for more information.
Canberra Nature Park Plan of Management 1999
Canberra Nature Park protects areas of remnant natural vegetation located in and around urban Canberra (currently 39 reserves). Many of these reserves protect the nationally endangered ecological communities of Yellow Box–Red Gum Grassy Woodland and Natural Temperate Grassland of the Southern Tablelands of NSW and the ACT. A number of threatened or declining animal species which rely on these ecosystems such as the Golden Sun Moth (Synemon plana), Striped Legless Lizard (Delma impar), Grassland Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) and Pink-tailed Worm Lizard (Aprasia parapuchella) are found in Canberra Nature Park. Many of the reserves are also valuable for movement of wildlife.
As many of the reserves are located next to Canberra suburbs, they are heavily used by local residents for walking, running, mountain bike riding and walking dogs. Some are extensively used for group activities such as orienteering and rogaining.
There is extensive evidence of previous Aboriginal occupation, and also of the early European pastoral activity.
The Canberra Nature Park Plan of Management is a disallowable instrument and available on the ACT legislation register.
Note: The Canberra Nature Park Plan of Management is currently under review.
Lower Molonglo River Corridor Plan of Management 2001
The Lower Molonglo River Corridor (river and adjacent landscape) is located along the 12 kilometres of the Molonglo River extending from Coppins Crossing downstream to approximately one kilometre above the confluence with the Murrumbidgee River.
The Corridor provides important habitat for rare and threatened species including the nationally vulnerable shrub Pale Pomaderris (Pomaderris pallida) and Pink-tailed Worm Lizard (Aprasia parapulchella). Peregrine Falcons (Falco peregrinus) breed within the reserve. Native fish species and platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) are found in the river. Low key recreation activities include fishing, bushwalking, bird observation and picnicking.
The Lower Molonglo River Corridor Plan of Management is a disallowable instrument and available on the ACT legislation register.
Note: The Lower Molonglo River Corridor Plan of Management is currently under review and will extend to Scrivener Dam.
Murrumbidgee River Corridor Plan of Management 1998
The Murrumbidgee River Corridor Plan of Management applies to a strip of land and water up to 4 kilometres wide along the full length (66 kilometres) of the ACT section of the Murrumbidgee River. Covering approximately 9800 hectares, the Corridor includes five nature reserves, eight recreation reserves and a European heritage conservation zone (Lanyon). The area is rich in Aboriginal and European sites and artefacts.
Significant natural and cultural values include:
- fossil sites, and important geomorphological features such as Gigerline Gorge, the Gudgenby confluence, the Pine Island-Red Rocks Gorge-Kambah Pool area and the lower Paddys River-Uriarra area
- regionally significant stands of the River She-oak (Casuarina cunninghamiana) in the northern part of the corridor, and remnant stands of riparian Manna Gum Eucalyptus (viminalis) in the south
- Paddys River caves and mine precinct which provides a roosting site for the Bent Wing Bat (Miniopterus shreibersii)
- habitat for the threatened Pink-tailed Worm Lizard (Aprasia parapuchella)
- habitat for the threatened Murray Cray (Euastacus armatus) and Trout Cod (Maccullochella macquariensis).
There is extensive low key recreational use of the Murrumbidgee River Corridor and land uses include rural activities, community centres and a museum.
The Murrumbidgee River Corridor Plan of Management is a disallowable instrument and available on the ACT legislation register.