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Case Studies

"Taldumande"

Camden Lakeside

Mulgrave Bulky

Bunnings, Dural

"Kookaburra Ridge"

Binya Close

Oswald Park

 

The following case studies are projects that were team efforts.  Abel Ecology worked in these projects with a range of other professionals, such as surveyors, planners, environmental lawyers, engineers, hydrologists and project managers.  Such projects require excellent working relationships in a team to produce an outcome on time and within a budget.  Abel Ecology does not work in a vacuum, but as a team member.

 

"Taldumande", Kurrajong, Rural residential development

Project outline

An abandoned dairy farm at Kurrajong, western Sydney, had overgrown with lantana, privet and a variety of other weeds.  The original proposal was to subdivide into 4ha Lots.  Our preliminary survey found Shale Sandstone Transition Forest and Western Sydney Dry Rainforest (Endangered Ecological Communities) on the site.

 

Challenge

The challenge was to take advantage of the high conservation values and degraded state of the site, and to maximise the financial return from any development.  The zoning for the site required Lot boundaries to fragment the natural vegetation.   A solution needed to enable the natural vegetation to be managed in one entity, and a coherent weed control plan was required for the whole site.

 

Outcome

A design which consisted of half the site in one Community Lot, and the remaining area with the original number of Lot entitlements as smaller Lots required a change in not only zoning but a change to the LEP by the local Council. Council supported the proposal to the State Government, and the development was approved. The Lots are marketed at a premium price to reflect the environmental values of the site. The development cost per Lot was minimised by use of a community sewerage treatment plant. The Community Association residents enjoy a lower per household waste management cost, and recycled water for non potable use.

 

Recognition

The development was a NSW finalist in the Civil Contractors Federation 2004 CASE Earth Awards.  The development was featured on Channel 9 and Channel 10 television news, and in the Sydney Morning Herald.

 

Lot Divisions Creek Crossing Dam and Jetty Rainforest Walk Residential Lots

 

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Camden Lakeside Country Club

Project outline

A degraded grazing property in western Sydney was redeveloped as a golf course in 1993.  It was subject to a range of management problems such as weeds, dryland salinity, erosion and turf grass insect pests.  The remnant vegetation was Cumberland Plain Woodland, an Endangered Ecological Community.

 

Challenge

The course superintendent asked for a habitat restoration plan in 1996, and this was implemented from 1997 to 2002.  The challenge was to restore the Cumberland Plain Woodland and encourage native fauna to return to the site and act as pest control agents, in order to improve the playing qualities and management of the course.

 

Outcome

The vegetation has responded to weeding and planting.  The course has been self sufficient for water for the life of the development.  There has been a doubling of species of birds, reptiles and frogs, and insectivorous bats have increased from none to eight species.  One Endangered and one Vulnerable plant species have emerged on the site.  Maintenance costs and staff costs for mowing and watering have been reduced on the course.

 

Recognition

Golf Course Superintendent David Scaife has received the AGCSA Claude Crockford Environmental Award.

Consultant ecologist Danny Wotherspoon was invited to present a paper on the success of the project to the XIXth International Congress of Zoology in Beijing, China in August 2004.

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Mulgrave Bulky Goods retail site

Project outline

A two hectare site at Mulgrave, western Sydney, supported a stand of an Endangered Ecological Community, Shale Gravel Transition Forest, the endangered Cumberland Plain Land Snail, and the threatened plants Downy Wattle Acacia pubescens and Spider Flower Grevillea juniperina.  It was zoned industrial and surrounded by a developed industrial area.

 

Challenge

In order to achieve development consent the concurrence of NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service was required.  The NPWS (DECCW) policy is to get an offset conservation site to replace the area to be developed.

 

Outcome

The offset was achieved, and the consent granted, enabling the entire site to be developed.

 

Streetscape

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Bunnings, Dural

Project outline

An abandoned orchard at Dural in northern Sydney supports an Endangered Ecological Community Turpentine Ironbark Margin Forest.  A protracted appeal in the NSW Land and Environment Court resulted in a range of consent conditions attached to the consent to develop the site for a bulky goods retail outlet.  These consent conditions required the cooperation of neighbouring land managers.

 

Challenge

Inadequate flora and fauna reports submitted to the Court, and the presence of the Turpentine Ironbark Margin Forest provided a complex scenario for development of a bushfire management plan. 

The consent was for major building construction adjacent to the forest, which was to be managed for bushfire protection.  However, the forest was to be also regenerated as an Endangered Ecological Community.

 

Outcome

Negotiations with a range of state and local government agencies were undertaken.  The site was cleared of old buildings, contaminated waste and weed affected vegetation.  Demolished vegetation was separated and the weed free material mulched and logged for landscape use.  A cooperative solution with adjoining land managers enabled all site constraints to be managed so as to enable development to proceed, and the project was completed on time and within budget.

 

Forest Located behind building

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"Kookaburra Ridge", East Kurrajong, north-west Sydney

Project outline

An abandoned orchard on a ridge top is surrounded by steep slopes supporting an endangered ecological community Shale Sandstone Transition Forest (SSTF) and a number of threatened species of plants and animals.

 

Challenge

A real estate agent had advised the owner that as it was 100 acres, and it was zoned for 10 acre Lots, it could be developed as a ten Lot subdivision.  Constraints of bushfire, cliffs, swamp, and endangered vegetation (both plant species and SSTF) significantly reduced the developable area.  The challenge was to maximise the yield within the site constraints.

 

Outcome

An initial constraints plan was developed, providing opportunity for four Lots.  A management plan which integrated bushfire and native vegetation management reduced the area of development constraint. Further investigation, creative subdivision design and innovative sewerage treatment enabled a six Lot subdivision.  The development cost per Lot was minimised by use of a community sewerage treatment plant.  The Community Association residents enjoy a lower per household waste management cost, and recycled water for non potable use.

 

Photo

Road was aligned to protect three endangered plant species.

 

Top of the Ridge

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Binya Close, Hornsby Heights

Project outline

Routine maintenance by Transgrid identified the need for the removal of trees from under a power line.  The land is known to support two threatened frog species, the Red-crowned Toadlet and the Giant Burrowing Frog, and a plant which is listed as Endangered under Part 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995, Persoonia mollis subsp. maxima.

 

Challenge

This land has been in the spotlight of community concern for over a decade due to the threatened species known to be on site.  It was evident that all stakeholders needed to be involved in the process.  Work had to be carried out in a sensitive manner, so that no threatened species were adversely affected by the works.

 

Outcome

An REF (Review of Environmental Factors) was produced with the input and advice of Abel Ecology staff.  Special provisions provided a practical and sensitive outcome; Transgrid, local government and the community were all pleased with the result.

 

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Oswald Park, Kurrajong

Project outline

An existing grazing property was subdivided into ten acre (4 hectare Lots) Torrens Title for rural residential use. 

 

Challenge

Maximum yield was required, together with maximum grazing availability, and minimum impact on downstream habitat.

 

Outcome

All properties retain access to the water resources, views of the mountains and viable carrying capacity for pet horses.

 

Photo

Maximum use was made of existing water resources for recreation, equestrian use, visual amenity, and environmental management

 

Good Grazing

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