We undertook the referral, assessment and achieved approval of the first EPBC Act approval of a project impacting the Banksia Woodland Threatened Ecological Community in Western Australia. We also provided all environmental services to support Structure Planning and subdivision approval.
The project proposed to impact Black Cockatoo Species habitat and Banksia Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain Threatened Ecological Community.
Our land development team designed, led and delivered all aspects of the proposal including:
- technical assessment of environmental values of project site
- development of EPBC Act assessment and approval strategy, including engagement with all relevant stakeholders, specifically, Department of Environment and Energy (DEE), Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and City of Wanneroo
- referral of project under EPBC Act
- development of Preliminary Documentation (assessment). Being the first assessment for the Banksia Woodland TEC, significant learning was done with the Department of Environment and Energy on how to interpret the Conservation Advice and on key issues such as how to consider Like for Like offsets
- coordination of public advertising and response to submissions
- identification of suitable potential offsets available through DBCA
- technical assessment of offset sites
- demonstration of suitability of offset sites and attainment of agreement of offset quantum via the offset calculator
- achievement of agreement on conditions and staging of post approval requirements commensurate with development stages.
There were a number of key challenges associated with the project including:
- a high level of community interest in the clearing of Black Cockatoo habitat
- first assessment of Banksia Woodland Threatened Ecological Community. Complexity of assessment of proposal by the Department of Environment and Energy was complicated by evolution of Departmental policy position as it interpreted the Conservation Advice for the Banksia Woodland
- offset identification, assessment and negotiation was required to anticipate and respond to evolving Departmental policy.