In 2015, we secured 75 hectares of vegetative offsets associated with major construction projects and began the process of acquiring a further 53 hectares of endangered wetland vegetation.
We are committed to ensuring the preservation of biodiversity values by seeking to avoid or minimise impacts on areas of identified ecological importance within the areas we operate.
Establishing land-based vegetation offsets is one way we compensate for these impacts. In fact, since 2013, we have secured more than 240 hectares of habitat for native fauna and flora, endangered ecosystems and wildlife corridors.
Our Environmental Planning Assessment Procedure (EPAP) is the primary tool we use to manage the legislative requirements with a biodiversity and natural resource focus. This focus includes the appropriate implementation of our Environmental Management Plans (EMPs). We also regularly review our EMPs.
We have implemented initiatives such as fauna-friendly culverts in our rail corridors to promote wildlife dispersal and improved lighting to decrease light spill from our facilities. We have also incorporated water sensitive urban design elements to manage the quality of water discharge from our sites.
When surveys were taken for the Wiggins Island Rail Project (WIRP) for the section between Dingo and Bluff in Queensland, we discovered a colony of up to 96 Microbats roosted within the upgraded culverts of this rail project.
Although they usually roost in tree hollows, significantly cooler temperatures in the culverts during the afternoon provide a more stable microclimate for the species. Microbats, like all native fauna, are protected under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992.
We built 21 bat-specific roosting boxes in the adjoining bushland as part of the delicate management of this Microbat colony.