Tasmanian Planning Commission (TPC) refuse 54 lot subdivision

The TPC recently refused a contentious 54 lot subdivision and rezoning application at 50 St Helens Point rd based on expert planning evidence provided on behalf of NEBN.

Endowment Fund

The establishment of an East Coast Conservation Corridor Endowment Fund will provide the long term certainty required to help maintain and restore the ecological health, diversity and beauty of this exceptional place.


New Holland Mouse

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.

Planning Directives / Land Use Plan / Strategic Plan

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.

Skyline Tier

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.


Review of Skyline Tier Restoration Work

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.

NEBN Plantation Restoration

Plantation Restoration in Tasmania: Methodology and Prioritisation

Native Restoration of Scamander Pine Plantation

This report details how to go about restoring the whole 2,000ha plus of the Scamander Pine Plantation back to native forest. A management key is provided which outlines methodology for this process and is broadly applicable to many other pine plantations in Tasmania.

Bay of Fires Proposal

The Bay of Fires is an area of sublime beauty and important biodiversity values with strong cultural links for Tasmania's Aboriginal community. It is also highly valued by East Coast residents, treasured by the Tasmanian community as a whole and attracts visitors from Tasmania, Australia and beyond.


East Coast Corridor Conservation Report

This report presents a concept for a large-scale conservation initiative to connect, restore and maintain the outstanding ecological values of Tasmania's East Coast and North East. This landscape-scale conservation corridor extends 280 km north-south from Cape Portland to
Cape Pillar, covering 2 ½ degrees of latitude. The existing reserve system and a number of established conservation projects provide a solid foundation for this integrative corridor concept 

North East Bioregional Network - Land Use Plan

This is a Conservation Action Plan for the Break O Day area highlighting the important ecological processes and values that need to be protected, sustained and restored in the region.

Ecological Skill Set

There is growing demand for skills in ecological restoration both locally, nationally and internationally as governments and private enterprise invest in restoring degraded lands for conservation, carbon credits and ecologically sustainable timber production. The Ecological Restoration Skill Set consists of three units from the Certificate II Conservation/Land Management qualification.

Report on Reform of Conservation Covenants

Executive Summary

In Australia, significant conservation effort has been spent protecting tracts of public land as national parks, reserves and conservation areas. While these reservation efforts are essential, many of Tasmania’s threatened vegetation communities (and dependent species) occur primarily on private land, particularly in central and eastern areas of Tasmania. Vegetation on private land is also important for the maintenance of landscape-scale habitat connectivity. For these reasons, there has been an increasing focus over the past decade on the protection of the natural and cultural values on private land.

One way that formal protection of private land may be achieved is through the use of conservation covenants1: voluntary, legally binding agreements between individual landowners and the Tasmanian Minister for the Environment. Many conservation covenants also require approval from the Federal Minister, and are counted towards Tasmania’s RFA obligations to maintain a Comprehensive, Adequate, and Representative (CAR) reserve system.2

Since their introduction in 1999, more than 810 conservation covenants have been entered into, protecting over 99,300 hectares of private land in Tasmania.3 Conservation covenants have the objective of protecting significant values on private property, and may restrict the activities that can be carried out or impose obligations for active management of the land. In return for this protection, covenanted landowners often receive financial assistance and land tax and council rates concessions.

Despite the significant contribution conservation covenants make to the management of natural and cultural values, there are few safeguards in Tasmanian legislation to ensure that covenants provide secure, long-term protection. The number of covenants being discharged or varied is expected to increase in coming years as agreements mature and covenanted properties are sold to landowners who did not agree to the original restrictions.

For this reason, it is timely to consider whether current laws provide adequate security for the natural and cultural values protected by conservation covenants. This report identifies weaknesses in the current legislation, and recommends improvements to ensure that recognised natural values on private properties are not diminished by the inappropriate variation or discharge of conservation covenants.

The report also considers a range of other threats to the effectiveness of conservation covenants, including limited funding for ongoing management, lack of monitoring and enforcement, and overriding rights for mining activities.

With a number of relatively minor legislative and policy reforms to strengthen their effectiveness, conservation covenants can provide an invaluable tool to facilitate conservation outcomes on private land and improve habitat connectivity and species resilience across Tasmania.


Scenic Protection Assessment: North East Tasmania

This summary reference provides a brief guide to scenic protection assessment and mapping prepared for a region of North East Tasmania on behalf of the North East Bioregional Network (NEBN) of Tasmania by Geoscene International (a division of Scenic Spectrums Pty Ltd The region covers an area of roughly 20 km by 200 km or 400,000 ha, extending along the Tasmanian coastline from the town of Bicheno in the south to Musselroe Bay in the north and inland 15km to 20km.

Ecology & Economy - Finding the Balance

Presentation and Notes from our well-attended Mountain Bike Forum held on Saturday 15th July 2017

Economic Benefits of Restoring Skyline Tier Scamander Plantation

Skyline Tier is located above Beaumaris near Scamander, on Tasmania’s East Coast. In the late 1960s to early 1970s about 2,000ha of native forest behind Scamander was converted to Radiata pine plantation with associated periodic clear felling of the pines on steep slopes.

With Australian Government funding, 350ha of radiata pine plantation at Skyline Tier has been restored to native forests by the North East Bioregional Network (NEBN).

Ecological restoration work undertaken at Skyline Tier has a number of economic benefits. Economic benefits relate to outcomes that affect individual and community well-being through direct use of restored areas by individuals, indirect use or non-use (James and Gillespie 2002). These economic benefits are valued based on the community's willingness to pay (WTP) for them and can be potentially be estimated using market data, revealed preference methods or stated preference methods (James and Gillespie 2002).

In addition, restoration works can provide economic activity to local communities via labour and non-labour expenditures during restoration and expenditures during ongoing management. Where restored sites are used for tourism and recreation, additional economic activity can be generated for a local community.

This report explores the potential economic benefits from the Skyline Tier Restoration Project (the Project) as well as the economic activity generated. Section 2 provides background to economic values and valuation methods as well as economic activity analysis. Section 3 identifies a range of potential economic benefits from the Skyline Tier Project and where possible infers an economic value based on benefit transfer from nonmarket valuation studies. Section 4 examines expenditure patterns from the Project and the economic activity impacts on the Break O’ Day Local Government Area (LGA).

Crown Land Binalong Bay

NEBN has written to new State Minister for the Environment Mr Brian Wightman about the proposed sale of Crown Land at Binalong Bay adjoining the Humbug Point Nature Recreation Areas. After obtaining a FOI on this land which identified the proposed areas for sale a survey was carried out which revealed that nearly all of the land is either threatened forest communities Eucalyptus globulus (Blue Gum) or Eucalyptus ovata (Black Gum) forest, threatened species habitat (New Holland Mouse, Chaostola Skipper Butterfly) or wetland. We have requested that the Minister incorporate the entire area of Crown Land (39ha) into the Humbug Point Nature Recreation Area on environmental as well as planning grounds.


Private Land

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.


Break O Day Priority Habitat Mapping Project Report

This report was produced to be used in the new Biodiversity Code of the Break O Day Planning Scheme. This will be the first time that landscape connectivity has been explicitly recognised in local Planning Schemes.

Benefits of Restoring Skyline Tier

The Northeast Bioregional Network engaged Bushways Environmental Services Tasmania to conduct an assessment of the benefits to the community of restoring Skyline Tier.

As well as the social, biodiversity and economic values, this report breaks new ground by including carbon values.

Native Vegetation Management Plan, Seaview, Pyengana, Tasmania

As a result of NEBN and other local community groups negotiations with Gunns regarding the management of their Seaview Plantation in the head waters of the South George River, Bushways Environmental Consultants produced a management plan which demonstrates best practice plantation management as well as achieving protection and restoration of riparian and native vegetation areas.
This land is in the upper catchment of the South George River, part of the St Helens water supply catchment.The land has since passed from Gunns ownership but NEBN is still pursuing (and achieving) better management of the land with the current owners.

In this report information about restoration of Eucalyptus nitens plantations back to native forest is provided. There is a particular emphasis on streamside/riparian areas. This land is in the upper catchment of the South George River, part of the St Helens water supply catchment.

Constable Creek Report

This document presents a proposal for a new reserve in North East Tasmania. The proposed Constable Creek - Loila Tier Reserve covers an area of approximately 13,200 hectares of largely pristine native forest, heathland and watercourses.