NEBN has written to the State and Federal Government about failure of the Policy and Conservation Assessment Branch’s (PCAB, of DPIPWE) failure to adequately protect threatened species. PCAB is a State Government Department which provides advice to Councils on threatened species issues. It also administers conservation covenants. In the case of a recent development on Binalong Bay Road PCAB recommended allowing a residence be built less than 250m metres from an active Sea-Eagles nest and also refused to place a conservation covenant on the land (instead recommending a Part V agreement which is a far weaker means of protection conservation values on private land). The land contains habitat for Swift Parrot, a threatened plant species and two threatened vegetation communities as well as being a potential buffer to limit disturbance of the Sea-Eagles nest. This is not the first time PCAB ahs failed to get the best outcome on private land with important natural values.
Billie Lazenby has produced a report regarding NHM habitat in the St. Helens area. A copy has been sent to the Threatened Species Unit as well as Break O’Day Council. A recent hair tube survey near Swimcart Beach at the Bay of Fires produced one positive result. For the first time New Holland Mouse has been recorded in the area for 20 years. Surveying for NHM is ongoing.
NEBN has attended two Planning Directives hearings (No. 1 and No. 4) to try and ensure that ecological protection, management and restoration underpin planning in Tasmania.
The recently completed Land Use Plan has been a useful document to submit at such hearings as it highlights the fact that ecological processes have not been identified, let alone protected in the planning system even though this is a legal requirement.
The Land Use Plan has also been submitted to the Break O’Day Strategic Plan process as a means of promoting the need for the Council to develop a long-term ecologically based Land Use/Biodiversity strategy for our municipality.
We have accessed $55,000 in funding in the past year for this project. There has been some large areas selectively harvested (pines removed, native trees retained) by a local logging contractor in the past few months which will regenerate back to native forest rapidly. Conservation Volunteers Australia (CVA) crews have been coming out for a week each month which has been very helpful but we need more local input.
The long-term goal is to secure enough funding to be able to pay for a locally based work team. The 2009 Report on Skyline Tier is now available.
The Northeast Bioregional Network engaged Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania to conduct a review of the ecological restoration works undertaken at Skyline Tier, Scamander Pine Plantation from July 2007 to the end of 2009. Active management of the site removing pines and regenerating native vegetation has resulted in impressive progress.