Development and orchid conservation

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Development and orchid conservation

  1. 1. Development and Orchid Conservation - a practitioner’s perspective Marc Freestone - Botanist Ecology and Heritage Partners
  2. 2. The role of consultants • Native vegetation is proposed to be cleared • Ecological investigations are required under Commonwealth and State legislation, and Government policy • Examples • • • • • Road Rail Pipelines Urban development Mining and exploration • Consultants on the frontline
  3. 3. Federal Legislation • Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 • Site assessment – is a listed species likely to occur? • Undertake surveys • If detected, submit a referral to Department of the Environment • “Action Unacceptable” • “Controlled Action” • Grant approval with conditions (avoid, minimise, offset) • “Not Controlled Action”
  4. 4. Regional Rail Link Sunshine Diuris • $5b project building 90 km of new track • Last population of Sunshine Diuris Diuris fragrantissima • Listed as Endangered under EPBC Act • Referred for proximity of works • Permit approved with conditions • Avoid and protect site with land-title agreement • Implement Management Plans
  5. 5. Victorian Legislation • • • • Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 Planning and Environment Act 1987 Environmental Effects Act 1978 Mineral Resource (Sustainable Development) Act 1990
  6. 6. Victoria • Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 • • • • • Flora, fauna and ecological communities Protects all native orchids (+ other genera) Public land only Apply to DEPI for a permit Road and rail projects, airfields, National Parks?
  7. 7. Glenelg Highway Emerald-lip Greenhood • • • • • Overtaking lanes on Glenelg Highway Emerald-lip Greenhood Pterostylis smaragdyna in roadside Rare in Victoria Protected under FFG Act  DEPI required translocation 5 plants translocated – 3 survived
  8. 8. Victoria • Planning and Environment Act 1987 • Planning Permit required from Council for native vegetation removal – Section 52.17 • Permit issued subject to compliance with Victoria’s Native Vegetation Framework • • • • Vegetation mapping Threatened species surveys Avoid + Minimise Offsets
  9. 9. Shaw River Power Station Basalt Leek-orchid • • • • Pipeline for power station water intake Basalt Leek-orchid Prasophyllum viretum, endangered in Vic Private land – i.e. FFG Act doesn’t apply Pipeline re-aligned to avoid Basalt Leek-orchid
  10. 10. Victoria • Permitted Clearing Regulations • Low Risk = <1 ha Location A (blue); <0.5 ha Location B (purple) • Assessment information reduced • No consideration of threatened species • DEPI / Council cannot refuse permit if offset is secured
  11. 11. Victoria • Permitted Clearing Regulations • Moderate Risk = > 1 ha Location A (blue), 0.5 – 1 ha Location B (purple) • High Risk = >1 ha Location B (purple), any Location C (red)
  12. 12. Offset opportunities • Removal of like-for-like offset requirements • Focus on “strategic” offset sites with higher biodiversity values Cobra Greenhood Pterostylis grandiflora at Pakenham
  13. 13. Key Issues • Surveys • Short timeframes • If a species isn’t found, it’s not there • Consultants often don’t have detailed knowledge of the area • Offsets • Focus on offsets rather than avoid and minimise
  14. 14. Victorian Biodiversity Atlas • Used to inform habitat importance maps and modelling under Permitted Clearing Regulations.
  15. 15. Questions Melbourne | Brisbane | Adelaide | Geelong www.ehpartners.com.au

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