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.
Since 2013, Aurizon has secured more than 270 hectares of habitat for native fauna and flora, endangered ecosystems and wildlife corridors, including 75 hectares of vegetative offsets associated with major construction projects in Queensland in 2015 and 31 hectares of endangered wetland vegetation in New South Wales in 2016.
Establishing land-based vegetation offsets is just one way we compensate for construction and operational impacts. We also implement initiatives such as fauna-friendly culverts in our rail corridors to promote wildlife dispersal, improved lighting to decrease light spill from our facilities, water sensitive urban design elements to manage the quality of water discharge from our sites, and (during maintenance works) the provision of nest boxes for microbats and birds who often use our infrastructure for shelter.
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 preparation, appropriate implementation and regular review of our operational and construction Environmental Management Plans (EMPs).
Case Study - Managing Microbats
Microbats are small to medium-sized animals weighing from 3g to 150g.
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.