Regional round-up: Project updates from across NSW

Our NSW consulting team has travelled far and wide in recent weeks, providing advice to clients across the state, from Broken Hill to Brimbin.

Portland Cement Works: Conservation Management Plan

At Lithgow in the Central Tablelands, our historical heritage team has been busy preparing a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) for the Portland Cement Works.

The CMP will help guide the development of a Concept Design for the site. The Project aims to redevelop the site in a sensitive manner and deliver a positive outcome for the town of Portland. In addition to the CMP, Niche will provide a set of Design Principles for the Project as well as preparing a Statement of Heritage Impact for the proposed works.

Princes Highway Upgrade: Nest box installation and monitoring

Meanwhile on the South Coast, our ecologists have been assisting Roads and Maritime Services with the upgrade of the Princes Highway from Berry to Bomaderry.

Following the formulation of Nest and Microbat Box Management Plans, Niche installed and are monitoring nest boxes to mitigate impacts on fauna resulting from the removal of hollow-bearing trees and bridges. The bridges can be used by the vulnerable fishing bat (Myotis macropus), which preys on fish and aquatic insects by scraping its enlarged feet through the water.

Approximately 150 next boxes of different varieties have been installed to cater for microbat, possum, glider and bird species with potential to occur in the study area. Monitoring is underway, which has seen proud new residents move into the majority of possum, glider and parrot boxes installed adjacent to areas of clearing. Microbat management and pre-clearing programs have prevented bat mortality during tree clearing by detecting roost trees using creative techniques to facilitate the exit of bats from colonies prior to clearing.  Niche will provide Roads and Maritime Services with ongoing reporting documenting the nest box installation program and outlining monitoring goals and timing, results and recommendations.

Central Coast Council: Grevillea surveys

Further north, we provided ecological advice to Central Coast Council regarding potential impacts to a local population of Grevillea species as a result of proposed fire trail maintenance at Mt Alison, Jilliby NSW.

The population was likely to include Grevillea parviflora subsp. parviflora, listed as vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act) and Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

A field survey was undertaken to inspect the area where the maintenance works were proposed, to confirm the locations of the Grevillea species along the fire trail and surrounding area, formally identify the species and to determine whether the proposed clearing is likely to have a significant impact on the local population of the Grevillea species.

A total of 16 additional patches of Grevillea sp. (being five or more plants) were identified in the study area, in addition to the three patches within the area of proposed works.  Plant specimens were collected for formal identification with the Royal Botanic Gardens and were identified as Grevillea linearifolia subsp. nov. det R.O. Makinson 2 Aug 2017. Despite not currently being a listed species under State or Commonwealth legislation, it is considered to be locally significant, known only from Jilliby, Kincumber Mountain, Strickland State Forest and Cooranbong.

To minimise the impact of the fire trail maintenance on the local population of the Grevillea species, recommendations included the propagation and translocation of ten plants, as well as weed management following completion of the maintenance works.

With a 40-strong multidisciplinary consulting team and seven NSW locations, our wide geographical reach means that we are never far away from our clients’ environments.    To discuss how our multidisciplinary team can support your next project, contact us.

Our services

Ecology:  Terrestrial, freshwater, marine and coastal
Cultural heritage management
Environmental approvals
Environmental offsetting

Portland Cement Works

NSW nest box installation Ecology

Flora surveys Central Coast Council