Melbourne's Biodiversity Conservation Strategy_Ecology and Heritage Partners Presentation 24062013

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36 Conservation Reserves within the Urban Growth Corridor (approx. 5700 ha) …

36 Conservation Reserves within the Urban Growth Corridor (approx. 5700 ha)
Approx. 3000 ha land along major waterways to protect and restore habitat for Growling Grass Frog
15,000 ha grassland reserve and 1200 ha grassy woodland reserve
Approx. 1600 ha of new reserves to be secured outside UGB across rural Victoria
Protection targets set out in the Program report - 80% of best habitat to be protected for Spiny Rice-flower, Matted Flax-lily and Golden Sun moth

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  • 1. Victorian Planning andEnvironmental LawAssociation24 June 2013Aaron Organ – Director / Principal EcologistAdelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, GeelongPh (03) 9377 0100, Mob. 0425 873 159Merri Creek
  • 2.  Prior to MelbourneStrategic Assessment BiodiversityConservation Strategy Habitat compensationapproach Long-term benefits Future considerationsPresentation Outline
  • 3. 6 Ad hoc approval process - Part 9 of the EPBC Act If a ‘Controlled Action’ - 6-9 months approvalprocess On-site reservation of typically small, isolatedpatches of remnant native vegetation in an urbanmatrix Offsets to be secured prior to site disturbance andhigher than 1:1 ratio Often difficult to manage Protracted timelines, inconsistent outcomes, addedcosts, sub-optimal biodiversity outcomesPrior to Melbourne Strategic AssessmentEndorsement
  • 4. 7 Endorsed on 2 February 2010 First strategic assessment in Australia Approval has effect until 31 December 2060 Based on the Program Report completion of the BCS Addresses matters of National EnvironmentalSignificance and satisfies State requirements Sub-regional Strategies completed for Growling GrassFrog, Golden Sun Moth and Southern Brown Bandicoot Various Conservation Management Plans being preparedwithin the Precincts to DEPIs satisfactionMelbourne Strategic AssessmentEndorsement
  • 5. 9 36 Conservation Reserves within the Urban GrowthCorridor (approx. 5700 ha) Approx. 3000 ha land along major waterways toprotect and restore habitat for Growling Grass Frog 15,000 ha grassland reserve and 1200 ha grassywoodland reserve Approx. 1600 ha of new reserves to be securedoutside UGB across rural Victoria Protection targets set out in the Program report -80% of best habitat to be protected for Spiny Rice-flower, Matted Flax-lily and Golden Sun mothBiodiversity Conservation Strategy
  • 6. 10 The BCS removes the prescriptions (singleenvironmental approval) Avoids duplication of assessment process underthe EPBC Act and State (reduced timelines) Cuts down on information costs and administrativeburden Offset obligations and their cost are now knownupfront State Government administers the cost recoveryprocessBenefits for Industry
  • 7. 11 Identification of ecological valuesupfront (assessments over 4 years) Protection and future managementof highest quality conservationareas (e.g. western grasslandreserves) Early consideration and mitigationof cumulative impacts (avoid short-sighted decisions and focusing onbroader outcomes) Creation of additional habitat (e.g.Growling Grass Frog) GSM habitat outside of the GrowthBoundary to reach 80% protectionImproved Biodiversity Outcomes
  • 8. 13 Reduced need for further ecologicalassessments Scrutiny by SEWPaC to ensureimplementation of the BCS is meeting Cwthconditions High level of scrutiny also from the Officeof the Auditor General to ensure programefficiency and accountability If costs are found not to be as high aspredicted then offset costs can be reduced.Equally if costs are insufficient they canincrease Land transfer option for designatedconservation areas in the BCS to reduceoffset liabilityCost Recovery
  • 9. ECOLOGICAL VALUES PRICE UNITAPPLICABLE GROWTH AREAW NW N SENative vegetation $95,075 Per hectare of native vegetation removed ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓Scattered Trees $13,218 Per tree considered removed ✓ ✓ ✓ ✓Matted Flax-lily $11,196 Per hectare of native vegetation removed - - ✓ -Spiny Rice-flower $7,937 Per hectare of native vegetation removed ✓ ✓ - -Golden Sun Moth $7,914Per hectare of non-native vegetationremoved, excluding areas identified asCategory 2 Growling Grass Frog habitat✓ ✓ ✓ -Growling Grass Frog $7,529Per hectare of non-native vegetationremoved, identified as Category 2 habitat✓ ✓ ✓ ✓Southern Brown Bandicoot $4,015Per hectare of native and non-nativevegetation removed- - - ✓Striped Legless Lizard $350Per hectare of native and non-nativevegetation removed, where vegetationhas been identified as habitat for StripedLegless Lizard (based on a site-specificassessment by an ecologist)✓ ✓ ✓ -
  • 10. Habitat Compensation Obligation – Online Interactive Map
  • 11. 1) BCS withingrowthcorridors2) ApprovedPSPs prior to1 March 20123) FormerUGB / outsideMSA Area
  • 12.  Habitat Compensation◦ Need to determine whether there are any appeal rightsassociated with Work in Kind◦ Further information required regarding what situationsresult in a reduced offset liability◦ Who would be responsible for the management of retainedareas outside of the reserves proposed in the BCS (Council)?◦ Landowners must meet 30% of their total obligation inorder for the Statement of Compliance for the first stage tobe issued◦ Is a landowner with a designated Conservation Areaobligated to manage the land primarily for conservationprior to purchase or land agreement?Future Considerations
  • 13.  Large Old Trees and scattered remnanttrees◦ Additional incentives for the protection of Largeold trees and scattered trees during the PrecinctStructure Planning process◦ Offset rate of $13,218/tree is consistent acrossall tree age classes◦ Council’s involvement and jurisdiction (local treeprotection policies)◦ Other opportunities for the protection andreservation of natural areas for conservation(local council reserves)Future Considerations
  • 14. Future Considerations Southern Brown Bandicootin the South-East GrowthCorridor Logical Inclusion Areas
  • 15.  Provide feedback to DEPI on Habitat CompensationDocument on the cost recovery process Review and respond to the Land Acquisition Strategyand Growling Grass Frog Masterplan – when released Submissions on the Southern Brown Bandicoot SRSS –if possible? Determine Habitat Compensation liability, Staged andDeferred Payments, and Works in Kind Conservation area and Growling Grass Frog corridorboundary refinement during PSP process (e.g. areas18, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33)Future Actions
  • 16. 27 The Government has gone a long way inunderstanding and accommodating theindustry’s concerns All conservation measures fundedthrough cost-recovery and dependenton the rate of development In future no further reserves requiredinside UGB – what are the incentives foravoidance and protection of additionalareas Different planning and approvalapproaches within and outside of theGrowth CorridorsConclusion
  • 17. Aaron OrganDirector / Principal Ecologist0425 873 159Adelaide - (08) 8372 7829 / Brisbane – (07) 3221 3352Geelong – (03) 5221 8122 / Melbourne – (03) 9377 0100www.ehpartners.com.auContact Details