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Invasive and Noxious Aquatic Species and the Queensland Biosecurity Act 2014 – Has the bar to development been raised again?

Introduction The Biosecurity Act 2014 came into force on 1 July 2016, and is underpinned by the Biosecurity Regulation 2016. While the Act addresses a wide range of activities, this paper focuses on activities relevant to stakeholders involved in the management of aquatic ecosystems such as local government, property developers, infrastructure providers, and the mining and gas industries, and discusses their obligations under the Biosecurity Act.   While our focus is …Read More

Conserving Fish Passage – Managing Waterway Barriers

frc environmental’s specialist and suitably qualified freshwater ecologists provide innovative fish passage solutions for all types of waterway barrier works, ensuring cost-effective, practical solutions that are readily accepted by the regulator. What is a Waterway Barrier and what constitutes ‘Waterway Barrier Works’? A waterway barrier is any form of infrastructure built on a waterway[1] that impedes flow or connectivity. This includes permanent structures (e.g. dams, weirs, culverts and bed-level road …Read More

Aquatic Ecology No Impediment to Quarry Development

Although the recent judgment by the Planning and Environment Court refused Boral’s appeal (and thus its immediate prospects of developing a new quarry on the Gold Coast), Judge Jones made clear that none of the issues relating to aquatic ecology raised by Council’s consultants were impediments to the development of a quarry. Through a combination of review work and fresh field survey, frc environmental’s Dr John Thorogood successfully demonstrated that …Read More

Conserving Critical Environmental Flows – with Dr Ben Cook

Conserving Critical Environmental Flows Flow as the Dominant Influence on River Ecology Water flow has been described as the ‘master variable’ or ‘maestro variable that orchestrates pattern and process’ in stream and river ecology, as it has a dominant role in shaping and sustaining fundamental properties of riverine ecosystems [i].  The structure and complexity of physical habitat in streams (e.g. channel geometry, the arrangement of pool and riffle habitats, types and …Read More

Mistake Mountain Crayfish (Euastacus jagara) and the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi)

frc environmental assisted in establishing a baseline for the critically endangered Mistake Mountain Crayfish (Euastacus jagara) and the endangered Fleay’s barred frog (Mixophyes fleayi). Under challenging conditions we used a combination of burrow counts, trapping and water quality measurements to gain a better understanding of the abundance and ecology of these rare crayfish. The survey is used to inform management of walking tracks in Main Range National Park and will …Read More

Kirra Reef Biota Monitoring Program

frc environmental have a well established relationship with the Tweed River Entrance Sand Bypass Program, having designed the Kirra Reef monitoring program in the mid 1990s.  The program has evolved over the years, with the current program using a combination of scientific divers and ROV.   Located just offshore of the surf zone, Kirra Reef poses challenges both for the plants and animals that live there, and the scientists that monitor …Read More

Kirra Reef Biota Monitoring Program – We’re back!

Serving as yet another example that whilst others might be cheaper, frc environmental delivers what they promise, frc environmental is delighted to again be working with the Tweed River Sand Bypassing Project, monitoring the effects of the sand bypass on Kirra Reef. Originally designed by frc environmental’s Senior Principal ecologist Dr John Thorogood in the 1990’s, the monitoring program has evolved alongside our understanding of the impacts of sand bypassing.  …Read More

‘Suitably Qualified Persons’ – a perspective for freshwater ecological assessment and compliance auditing

Development approval conditions typically require some form of environmental assessment to demonstrate compliance (e.g. implementation of an environmental monitoring program). Some developments, especially those involving environmentally relevant activities (ERAs), also require compliance auditing. The State requires that a ‘suitably qualified person’ (SQP) does these assessments and audits. When is a ‘Suitably Qualified Person’ Required? In Queensland, the definition of a SQP is a person who has ‘professional qualifications, training, skills …Read More

Acid Sulfate Soils – Nature’s Time-Bomb

Coastal development often throws up the term ‘acid sulfate soils’.  What are acid sulfate soils and why are they associated with environmental damage? Acid sulfate soils (ASS) are typically formed by bacteria interacting with vegetable matter and iron, as sea levels rose along the coast at the end of the last ice age.  In an undisturbed state below the water table, these soils are harmless (and known as potential acid …Read More

Focus on waterways integral to ShapingSEQ promises

The Queensland Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning has recently released the draft ‘South East Queensland Regional Plan’ (ShapingSEQ), which represents a revision of the first statutory plan for SEQ released in 2009. ShapingSEQ provides a framework for managing the region’s growth over the next 25 years, and proposes policy directions and benchmarks for managing growth and protecting and enhancing economic, social, cultural and environmental values of the region. …Read More