Farmers call for protection in Canberra

ACT Greens MLA Deb Foskey has called on the ACT Government to change its antagonistic attitude to residents in Canberra's surviving rural cottages.

"The historic caretaker's cottage on Cotter Road is a case in point" Dr Foskey said today.

"The residents, Jenni and Peter Farrell, face eviction tomorrow, even though, as their home for many years, they have maintained and improved it, and it's expected to be heritage listed and thus preserved."

"I understand the ACT Government, if it can't demolish the building, will not allow the Farrells to return home, but put in a ranger."

"That seems to be the attitude of the ACT Government towards any people who happen to live on or near land it wants to develop."

"The Farrells have lived in the cottage for years. They have helped it survive storms and fires, and have invested a lot of time and effort in maintaining and improving the building and garden."

"There is no reason for the ACT Government to push these people out, except - it seems - that it has the view that if it can't give the appearance of letting them 'get away with' anything."

"That is a facile and unconstructive approach which fails to take advantage of the goodwill at hand to preserve our community and rural heritage."

"This bare ground approach to urban development ignores opportunities to maintain a sense of history within our built environment."

"I wrote early this week to ask the Minister for Planning to ensure that the cottage is preserved and the residents are offered a lease to enable them to remain in their home and continue to maintain the building."

"The newspaper story today appears to be his reply" Dr Foskey said.

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