crag newsletter - december 1999

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Something is Happening
(crag 0399)

Silent Progress

Although, not really evident on the site, work has commenced to turn the Canal Reserve into a reality.

Since we last wrote, a number of events have happened in background that we all should be very happy with.

- The Plan of Management that detailed just what we wanted for the future of the Canal Reserve has been approved by all the appropriate levels of Government. It now officially sets the direction of work on the Reserve.

- The Government Gazette of 16 July 1999 carries the news that the Canal Reserve has been rezoned to Open Space 6(a). This is important news as it finally affords a degree of protection from non-recreational development.

- The new Minister for the Environment, Bob Debus, has visited the site with NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service officers since taking up his new role and has been briefed on our struggle and is supportive.

- Representatives from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and NSW Public Works and Services attended CRAG's October meeting where attendees were brought up to date with progress on the development of the Canal Reserve. At the time we were advised that Expressions of Interest had been called for consultants to manage the planning process for the reserve.

What else is happening?

Following the calling of Expressions of Interest a consultant has been appointed and has commenced preparatory planning work.

This phase will see the compilation of a detailed heritage report that will be submitted to the Heritage Council for appraisal.

A design engineer has been asked to prepare a report that will identify sources and quality of fill to allow filling of the canal which will finally alleviate one of the major safety aspects of the reserve.

These are a just the early steps. There are many more issues to be addressed. For example, a landscape design will be required to pin down the fine detail of just how the reserve will look. This phase will require community consultation and input of neighbours so that we are all happy with the outcome.

As you can see, there is much to be done and much of it will be behind the scenes. So don't expect to be able to see work happening on the ground until at least next March.

Of course CRAG will keep you posted of major developments, as we always have through this newsletter. But if you have Internet access visit our new WEB site which we can update more regularly.

Ownership of the Canal Reserve.

At the present time the Canal Reserve is still owned by the NSW State Treasury with maintenance activities contracted out to Sydney Water.

Work has commenced to transfer title of the land to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. However, this will take a little while as the fine detail is addressed. It is important that issues such as transitional maintenance which includes the fire breaks are identified and handed over.

CRAG Executive Committee

CRAG held its' Annual General Meeting in November which saw most members of the Executive returned to their positions.

The one change sees us welcome Steve Crowe to the position of Council Liaison Officer. Thank you Steve for stepping up to the mark and offering your support to the group.

This is also an opportunity to thank Brian Rensford for running with the Council Liaison position for a number of years. Unfortunately, Brian's work and many other commitments have forced him to leave the position, but we thank him sincerely for his input and helping to get us where we are today.

CRAG is now on the NET

That's right, CRAG now has an Internet presence. This means that you can obtain up to date information about the Canal Reserve's progress when you want to.

Contact information (including politicians, council and relevant government departments), meetings dates as well as maps and photographs are also part of the site.

It doesn't mean that newsletters will stop, but for those with access, the history and the latest breaking news about the Canal Reserve will be there when you need it.

So browse the CRAG site at:
(obsolete internet address deleted 19 May 2004)
Email address: (obsolete email address deleted 19 May 2004)

The Executive of CRAG would like to wish
you all a Safe and Happy Christmas

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