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Rosny Hill - Leafy Sun Orchid


Rosalie Woodruff MP

Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Tags: Rosny Hill, Threatened Species

Dr WOODRUFF (Franklin) - Mr Deputy Speaker, I provide a bit more context in light of the debate earlier in the day about threatened species. The need for threatened species management across Tasmania in both wilderness areas, in national parks and inner city suburban suburbs such as Rosny.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER - You are not reflecting the previous debate of the House?

Dr WOODRUFF - No, I am not reflecting. I certainly would not do that. I am talking about Rosny Hill, a nature conservation area, which is the place where a number of threatened orchid species are known to exist. In fact, they may only exist in substantial quantities on the Rosny Hill nature recreation area.

I am speaking of the  leafy sun orchid, Thelymitra bracteata. This is a very special little orchid that people who walk, jog and take their dogs up for daily recreation on Rosny Hill may be lucky enough to spy. The Clarence City Council undertook some documentation and survey work around the plant earlier in 2016. The council found that orchid to be an endangered species under the Threatened Species Protection Act, that it has only been recorded in four locations in Tasmania and the Rosny Hill nature recreation area is the only location that is known to contain a sizeable population of that particular beautiful orchid.

It is relevant because management of threatened species has been much discussed in recent times. If this Government is keen to make a mark in this area, the Premier would have a keen interest in the situation that is unfolding in Rosny Hill, which threatens not only the particular endangered orchid, Thelymitra bracteata, but the amenity, pleasure, silence, safety and the public ownership of that beautiful Rosny Hill.

Rosny Hill is much loved to local residents and to people who live in Bellerive, who live on the other side of the Derwent and who look across at the treed hilltop on the Eastern Shore. Rosny Hill is extraordinary in having survived this long in the intense suburban environment of Hobart. It is a beautiful jewel of a place that gives people who go there spectacular views of Hobart, a place of reflection and recreation.

That reflection and recreation is under threat by a private development that is proposed to take the top off the Rosny Hill from the nature recreation area and convert it into a large private development with conference space for 250 people, a number of restaurants, private bar, accommodation, and a huge car park, all in the name of progress, all in the name of fixing up some alleged problems with anti-social behaviour and littering on the hill-top. I refer to a letter that was written by Mr John Counsel (TBC) to the mayor of Clarence, Doug Chipman, earlier this year. Mr Counsel acknowledged the claim by the Clarence City Council about the problems with so-called antisocial behaviour and littering which Council is seeking to remedy by putting a massive private development on top of the hill. There are quite a few residents that have expressed amazement and those who have been round for a bit longer have expressed outrage that the Clarence Council is seeking to resolve a problem of their own making by inserting a massive private development as the solution.

It is a problem of their own making because the Clarence City Council has never put a rubbish bin at the top of Rosny Hill, despite taking it over from Parks decades ago with the alleged reason of fixing it up and managing it properly. They took it over and effectively have let it run down to explain a narrative of it falling apart and needing to be saved.

There are plenty of solutions for the issues of Rosny Hill. They involve having a consultation with the community, having a discussion with the residents. The residents have wanted to have that discussion with their own council but the council has steadfastly refused to have a public meeting. It is still stonewalling their own community who put a petition to council at the last meeting asking for a public meeting to discuss what should happen to the public space at the top of Rosny Hill and council is holding them off for as long as possible. They have 72 days that they can stonewall their own community.

There are many ways that local residents would like to continue to use their Hill: the passive and active recreation pleasure that they get, the bush walking, bird watching, orienteering, rogaining and photography that they use at the moment. On behalf of the community I encourage the council to get out and have a chat to them about it.