Bunya Mountains –
Russell Park MTB Trails

Client: Bligh Tanner on behalf of Western Downs Regional Council
Industry sector: Land development, Local government
Service: Cultural heritage, Ecology and biodiversity
Location: Russell Park, Bunya Mountains, QLD

About this Project

The project

Western Downs Regional Council (WDRC) is proposing to construct a network of mountain bike trails, day use areas and trail heads (the Project) within Russell Park, Bunya Mountains. The Project aims to support the connection between a healthy environment and healthy society.

Our role in the project

Niche were engaged by Bligh Tanner to provide both heritage management and ecological services during the detailed design phase of the Project. This included an Ecological Assessment Report, Protected Plants flora survey and Protected Plants Flora Survey Report, and cultural heritage services including Aboriginal and historical Due Diligence Assessment and a Cultural Heritage Field Assessment with representatives of the Aboriginal Party.

“The Niche team have enjoyed working with Bligh Tanner on this Project. Forming good working relationships with our clients and key stakeholders is at the heart of Niche’s values and makes participating in this sort of project, where we could value-add, both professionally and personally satisfying.”

Jill Reid, Discipline Manager Cultural Heritage

Working in a culturally and ecologically sensitive environment

From the outset of our involvement, Niche recognised the cultural and ecological sensitivities of the Project area. This was supported by the results of the Cultural Heritage Due Diligence and Field Assessments which identified the entire Project area as having cultural values. Niche undertook desktop and field surveys and assessments of environmental values including threatened species and ecological communities, habitat values, waterways and ecological corridors.

Riley de Jong from Bligh Tanner stated that Niche’s “…original survey and reporting was crucial to identifying these [environmental values] and informing subsequent targeted surveys and management plans which formed part of the applications to DES [Department of Environment and Science].”

Niche also assisted in correspondence and technical advice with DES to gain approval for a modified survey methodology that was appropriate for the Project’s scope. Riley stated that “DES’s assessment officer has commented a number of times that they were impressed with the thorough reporting and survey effort undertaken by Niche and subsequent ecology consultants, so thanks so much for your assistance.”

Niche also maintained regular liaison with stakeholders including DES and Bligh Tanner through their involvement with the Project.

The advantages we delivered to this project:

  • Prior established working relationship with the Aboriginal Party
  • Excellent collaborative working relationships with all Project stakeholders
  • Team of SE Queensland-based ecology and heritage specialists with experience in the local environment.

Excellence in your environment