News & ResourcesBanksia Woodland: Assessment, Referral and Offsets

Banksia Woodland: Assessment, Referral and Offsets

Banksia Woodland: Assessment, Referral and Offsets

Date posted: 28 February 2017

Understanding whether the vegetation on your site represents the new Banksia Woodland TEC

Introduction

The ‘Banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain’ ecological community was listed as a Threatened Ecological Community (TEC) under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) in September
2016.

An information guide was released in January 2017, and is available at: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/publications/banksia-woodlands-swan-coastal-plain-guide 

Approved Conservation Advice, the definitive source of information on the TEC, is also available online at: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/communities/pubs/131-conservation-advice.pdf

Clearing, dieback, fire, and groundwater decline are listed as the key threats to the TEC. Referral to the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Energy (DEE) may be required if clearing of the TEC is proposed.

Technical Aspects to Consider

Native vegetation may represent the TEC if it:

  1. Is dominated by one or more Banksia species;
  2. Is dominated by other species e.g. Tuarts and Peppermint but contains Banksia species; and
  3. Meets the minimum patch size versus condition requirements (e.g. ≥ 0.5 hectares of Excellent condition vegetation).

Vegetation Assessment

A thorough vegetation assessment is required to determine whether all or a
portion of a site’s vegetation represents the TEC.

Principal Botanist Narelle Whittington is experienced in the assessment of
native vegetation, and since September 2016 has completed numerous
assessments of vegetation considered likely to represent the TEC.

Lessons Learnt

  • Recent Referral of the clearing of <1 hectare of the TEC resulted in a ‘Not Controlled Action’ outcome (several referrals for larger clearing footprints are currently in process);
  • Vegetation to be conserved, as an offset for the proposed clearing, needs to represent the same sub-community as that to be cleared;
  • The requirement for survey of the proposed offset vegetation has not been confirmed by DEE, but may be prudent to avoid later issues; and
  • Unlike offsets for the loss of Black Cockatoo habitat, there is no maximum separation distance between vegetation to be cleared and that to be conserved as an offset.

Note: The ‘Tuart dominated woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain’ is currently under assessment by the Minister and is expected to be listed as a TEC in mid to late 2017.Further details can be found at:

http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/assessments/fpal

If you think you may have this community on your site, please feel free contact us now for advice

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