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Ord River Irrigation Area Offset Management Plan


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This report has been prepared for the exclusive use of Client, in accordance with the agreement between Client and Strategists (“Agreement”). Strategen has not attempted to verify the correctness or completeness of the information provided by the Client. The copyright and any other intellectual property resulting from the reporting and the provision of the services in accordance with the Agreement belongs exclusively to Strategen, unless otherwise agreed.

The OFA was reached to resolve native title and Aboriginal heritage issues between the state and the Miriuwung and Gajerrong people as a result of the expansion of the Project. As part of the implementation of the OFA, the reserves are managed through a formal partnership between the Director General of DEC and the MG Corporation in accordance with the CALM Act. 4(a) (i) the preservation and promotion of the Aboriginal cultural and heritage values ​​of the country. ii) the preservation and promotion of the natural and environmental values ​​of the land, including indigenous flora and fauna. iii) the preservation and promotion of the archaeological values ​​of the land (iv) the provision of recreational facilities and facilitation of recreational activities.

Gajerrong peoples in the administration, management and control of the land from time to time in accordance with Schedule 2. viii) commercial opportunities for the Miriuwung and Gajerrong peoples and the MG Corporation in accordance with the management of the land for the purposes of. ix) the implementation, monitoring, assessment and audit of the effectiveness of the management plan. Yoorooyang Dawang Proposed Draft Management Plan for Conservation Parks (DES 2011) also details the roles of DEC, the MG Corporation and other government agencies and stakeholders in terms of managing these conservation reserves (Appendix 1). Potential Material Extraction (Area 11) Weaber Plain Development Area Vegetation Management Area Weaber Plain Buffer Area Nature Conservation Reserve.

Figure 2 Weaber Plain Project Area
Figure 2 Weaber Plain Project Area

Environmental approval

WA Government approval

Australian Government approval

  • Management plans required by EPBC Approval 2010/5491
  • Requirements of Condition 14 of Commonwealth approval

14A Details of the direct offsets proposed in the draft Environmental Impact Assessment and how they will provide long-term conservation benefits to relevant endangered terrestrial species that would otherwise not be achieved. Details on whether the shifted area provides a true conservation outcome that would otherwise not have been achieved (i.e., whether it should be protected regardless of the action); Steps that will be taken to ensure that any directly offset area will be forever protected for conservation purposes and details of evidence that will be provided to the Department that conservation covenants have been entered into;.

Proposed research activities should be developed in consultation with the Sawfish and Glyphis Recovery Team. Research activities must be approved and the first annual payment must be provided within 18 months of the date of the approval decision.

Purpose and scope of this document

Potential impacts and mitigation

  • Matters of National Environmental Significance
  • Potential impacts
    • Terrestrial fauna
    • Aquatic fauna
  • Mitigation of potential impacts
  • Residual impacts
    • Terrestrial threatened species
    • Threatened aquatic fauna species

Implementation of a revised design that reduces the area to be cleared by approximately 655ha, provides additional habitat for the Gouldian Finch and allows for changes to cropping strategies in critical areas to help control groundwater accretion and any associated salinity. Implementation of a fire management strategy in the Buffer Area to improve faunal habitat values ​​to allow for increased carrying capacity of these areas for species including the Gouldian Finch. In addition to these mitigation measures, the development of the Buffer Area is also considered an offset rather than a mitigation measure.

The management plan includes livestock restriction, fencing and management of fires in the Buffer Area to further improve the faunal habit value of this area. The habitat value of the land cleared for the development would have continued to deteriorate with continued grazing, poor fire management and weed infestations. Potential risks from groundwater rise and weeds are expected to be minor following the implementation of weed management and groundwater management plans.

Following the implementation of the above mitigation measures, the remaining impact on threatened species is considered to be low, with the exception of Gould's finch. The development design includes fauna corridors and vegetation retention areas to minimize the project's impact on endangered species. In addition, compensatory measures to significantly improve the quality of foraging habitat in the buffer area through new fencing, stock removal, fire management implementation and hollow log salvage will be installed for Gouldian Finch nesting sites in the buffer area as specified in the Gouldian It is expected that the finch management plan will help offset any impact on Gouldian finches that may occur from project-related shrinkage.

The six nature reserves (Figure 1) were created to compensate for the Aboriginal heritage and conservation values ​​of the land affected by the Ord Stage 2 project. The DEC has mapped the extent of likely habitat for endangered species in the area to be developed and the areas where compensation measures will be applied to meet condition 14 and to assess the values ​​of compensation (Chapter 4). Although there is uncertainty about the impact on endangered aquatic fauna species, no significant impact is expected given the implementation of management measures.

The Stormwater and Groundwater Drainage Management Plan (SGDMP) is expected to manage potential impacts to the Border Creek-Keep river system to protect and NES species that inhabit this environment. Condition 14C addresses the uncertainty by requiring indirect compensation for research activities to manage, monitor and/or improve the protection of the Critically Endangered Spearhead Shark (Glyphis glyphis), the Endangered Northern River Shark (Glyphis garricki), the Vulnerable Freshwater Shark (Pritis). microdon) and the vulnerable dwarf sawfly (Pristis clavata).

Threatened terrestrial fauna characteristics and habitat suitability

Threatened species characteristics

Will fly 3-4 km in the late dry season to access fresh water, and can fly 10-100 km in search of sawgrass. Banded young birds have flown 200km in a few weeks from Wyndham to Newry Station in the NT. Generally not found in very steep ridges and canyons or in areas with dense vegetation (e.g. with palms).

In the Kimberley, they prefer tall open woodlands and woodlands or tall edged woodlands along rivers in surrounding grasslands, scrub and low open woodlands. Feed on birds (95% of diet) including parrots, cockatoos, ducks, kokaburras, skate larks and other birds, so they need to be in habitats that support high bird densities, especially during breeding. Adult males fly up to 7 km from the nest during breeding, while young can spread hundreds of km.

Three Red Goshawk records near Kununurra and within 40km of Livistona Reserve. The presence of 'bark' bloodwoods, areas not dominated by a thick shrub layer and areas prone to seasonal waterlogging may increase suitability, although the species has been recorded from hilly areas. It lives in widely separated groups up to 20 km apart and defends a home range of about 20 ha.

Threatened by frequent hot fires in the late dry season, which prevent invertebrates from settling under the bark. There are no records of Crested Shrike-tit (northern) within 200 km of Kununurra, and very little in the central and northern Kimberley. Important factors include shallow bottoms, large rock cover, near-permanent water, and low fire frequency.

Not in small isolated rocky outcrops more than 2 km from similar habitat or less than 2 km in extent. Only one older record of Northern Quoll in the area, about 54 km NW of Kununurra in Parry Lagoons Nature Reserve, about 8 km from the Livistona border.

Habitat mapping and suitability

  • Habitat affected within the Development Area
  • Habitat protected within conservation reserves
  • Comparison of directly affected and reserved terrestrial fauna habitat
  • Extent of habitat within the Buffer Area

Areas with tree species that do not form suitable cavities, or immature trees of preferred species without cavities. The vegetation contains some of the favorite species of trees, either in very open or sparse forests. The extent of suitable, potential, and unsuitable habitat in the six conservation reserves and directly affected by the Development Area was calculated based on the habitat map from DEC (Appendix 4).

The extent of suitable habitat that will be disturbed for each threatened species of interest is detailed in Table 4. The extent of habitat in each of the conservation reserves for the Gouldian Finch (presented as breeding, non-breeding and unsuitable), Red Goshawk, Crested Shrike-tit (northern) and Northern Quoll (presented as suitable, possible and unsuitable) are presented in Table 5 to Table 8 and shown in Figure 4 to Figure 7. The report of the DEC Ord Irrigation Area Fauna Habitat Mapping Project (Shedley 2012) ( Appendix 4) describes the method used to determine the suitability of habitat within the Development Area and protected reserves, and in particular whether the conservation reserves provide the same landscape function and habitat type for the species of the EPBC Act as the Development Area.

The habitat assessment of the conservation reserves shows that there is extensive suitable habitat for listed threatened species within these areas. A comparison of the amount of suitable and possible habitat to be cleared for each species and the amount of this habitat that will be protected in conservation reserves is shown in Table 9. For all species, the extent of habitat in the conservation reserves is significant larger than those affected as a result of the project.

Mapping of suitable habitat within the buffer area for the other threatened species will be carried out under seasonal conditions and species-related behaviour, before December 2012, as required under condition 7 of EPBC 2010/5491. In addition to providing net positive compensation conditions, an environmental buffer of approx. 11,470 ha of natural vegetation to protect streams and surrounding conservation reserves. The buffer area's primary role is to absorb any edge effects from the development to protect surrounding land outside the buffer area from environmental impacts.

Landscape restoration of the Buffer Zone will provide ecological benefits to listed fauna while further offsetting direct development impacts. Further information on restoring buffer habitat values ​​is available in the Buffer Management Plan (Strategen 2012). The buffer will help protect the environmental values ​​of Point Springs Nature Reserve, Weaber Range Conservation Area and Pincombe Area Conservation Area.

The buffer will be managed by the Provider, with management responsibilities transferred to an appropriate legal entity in the future.

Table 3  Habitat suitability
Table 3 Habitat suitability

Threatened aquatic fauna species



Figure 2 Weaber Plain Project Area
Table 1  EPBC requirements
Figure 3  Environmental Offsets policy flow chart (SEWPaC 2011a)
Table 2  Species characteristics   Fauna


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