Molonglo Valley Strategic Assessment

The Molonglo Valley Plan for the Protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance (NES Plan) was approved on 20 December 2011 by the Commonwealth Minister for the Environment. The Molonglo Valley development is subject to a number of environmental assessment processes under both Commonwealth and ACT legislation.

Strategic assessment

PT worm lizardIn 2008, the Commonwealth and the ACT Government’s signed an  agreement to undertake a strategic assessment of the proposed Molonglo Valley development under s. 146 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

The NES Plan evaluates matters of national environmental significance (including threatened species, migratory species and important ecological communities) across the Molonglo Valley and identifies a range of management and mitigation measures and commitments.

The matters of national environmental significance are:

  • box-gum woodland

  • natural temperate grassland

  • pink-tailed worm lizard and

  • superb parrot and swift parrot, which are protected through the conservation of box-gum woodland, including the Kama Nature Reserve.

The NES Plan should be read in conjunction with:

Valley with logThe Supplementary Assessment Report summarises and responds to the issues raised through the public comment process. It addresses additional issues raised by the Commonwealth and provides an analysis of the final NES Plan and describes the outcomes for matters of national environmental significance.

On 20 December 2011, the Commonwealth Minister approved all actions associated with urban development in East Molonglo as described in the NES Plan, provided such actions take place wholly within the strategic assessment area in East Molonglo. The actions include infrastructure, services and construction.

The ACT Government has committed to the NES Plan and its associated actions being audited by an independent, third party expert, every five years for 30 years. In addition, ACT environmental approvals under the Planning and Development Act will also be required.

The Commonwealth and ACT approvals will permit the development of the area to proceed and accommodate 55,000 people.


Following the endorsement of the NES Plan by the Commonwealth Minister, an error in the extent of the EPBC Pre-approved Area relating to North Weston has been found. The NES Plan indicates that all of North Weston has received prior EPBC approval. This is incorrect, only North Weston south of the Cotter Road has received prior EPBC approval. View the correct EPBC Pre-approved Area.

Molonglo Valley Plan for the Protection of Matters of National Environmental Significance Annual Reports

Annual implementation reports are provided to the Commonwealth by the ACT Government through the Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate in accordance with Section 6 of the NES Plan.

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