Clearing Permit Decision Report



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Clearing Permit Decision Report  

 

1. Application 



details 

 

 

1.1.  Permit application details 

Permit application No.: 

2271/1 


Permit type: 

Purpose Permit 



1.2. Proponent 

details 

Proponent’s name: 

Western Areas NL 

1.3. Property 

details 

Property: 

M77/545 


 

M77/582 


 

M77/911 


Local Government Area: 

Shire Of Kondinin 



Colloquial name: 

Mining Lease 77/911 



1.4. Application 

Clearing Area (ha) 

No. Trees 

Method of Clearing 

For the purpose of: 

15 


 

Mechanical Removal 

Mineral Production 

2. Site 

Information 

2.1.  Existing environment and information 

2.1.1. Description of the native vegetation under application 

Page 1  


Vegetation Description 

Beard vegetation associations have been mapped at a 1:250 000 scale for the whole of Western Australia and 

are useful to look at vegetation extent in a regional context.  Two Beard vegetation associations are located within 

the application area (GIS Database): 

 

511 - Medium woodland; salmon gum and morrel. According to the Shared Land Information Platform (SLIP, 



2008), Beard vegetation association 511 is a woodland dominated by Eucalyptus salmonophloia with co-dominant 

E. longicornis over E. salubrisE. flocktoniaeE. eremophila over Dodonaea stenozygaEremophila saligna and 

Daviesia nematophylla

 

2048 - Shrublands; scrub heath in the Mallee Region.  According to the Shared Land Information Platform (SLIP, 



2008), Beard vegetation association 2048 is a shrubland of Acacia sp., Allocasuarina acutivalvisAdenanthos 

argyreusCalothamnus lateralisAllocasuarina campestrisMelaleuca sp., Hakea sp. and Leptopspermum 

erubescens, over Verticordia sp., Dryandra sp., Melaleuca sp., Baeckea sp., Leucopogon sp., Isopogon 

buxifoliusPetrophile sp., Banksia sp. and Xanthorrhoea nana

 

The application area was surveyed by Botanica Consulting in October 2007.  As a result, three vegetation types 



were identified (Botanica Consulting, 2007).  These are: 

 

Eucalyptus Mallee Woodland:  Dominated by Eucalyptus eremophila and E. urna over understorey co-dominants 



Melaleuca pauperiflora ssppauperifloraMadnataMuncinataM. ellipticaMpentagonaMcordataM

sapientesM. eleuterostachyaMlaxifloraMpauperiflora sspfastigiata and Acacia sulcata varplatyphylla

over ground cover species Olearia meulleriAcacia deficiens and Grevillea huegelii. 

 

Sandplain Heath: Dominant species within this vegetation type were Allocasuarina corniculataLepidosperma 



brunonianumAcacia eremophilaA. erinaceaA. fragilisA. sphacelataA. coolgardiensisA. hemiteles

Melaleuca uncinataM. cordataM. sapientesM. sparsifloraM. pauperiflora ssp. pauperifloraM. teuthidoides

Grevillea shuttleworthiana sspobovata and Isopogon scabriusculus ssppubifloris

 

Rehabilitation Vegetation: dominant species within this vegetation type were Acacia sphacelataA. fragilisA



heteroneura var. jutsoniiGrevillea oncogyne and G. cagiana

 

Clearing Description 

Western Areas have applied to clear 15 hectares of native vegetation for the purpose of expansion of the Flying 

Fox mine infrastructure and exploration activities.  Flying Fox Mine is located approximately 80 km east of Hyden. 

 

Vegetation Condition

 

 

Very Good: Vegetation structure altered; obvious signs of disturbance (Keighery 1994) 

 

To 


 

Page 2  

Degraded: Structure severely disturbed; regeneration to good condition requires intensive management 

(Keighery 1994)  

 

Comment

 

 

The vegetation condition was described by Botanica Consulting as 'very good' within the Eucalyptus Mallee 

Woodland and Sandplain Heath vegetation types and 'degraded' within the Rehabilitation vegetation type.  Much 

of the vegetation surrounding Flying Fox Mine has been disturbed by previous exploration activities. 



3.  Assessment of application against clearing principles 

(a)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if it comprises a high level of biological diversity. 

Comments 

Proposal is at variance to this Principle

 

 

The application area occurs within the Western Mallee Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia sub-

region (GIS Database).  This sub-region is characterised by clays and silts underlain by kankar, exposed 

granite, sandplains, isolated uplands of laterite pavements and salt lake systems (on a granite basement) 

(CALM, 2002).  Mallee communities can be found on a variety of surfaces and Eucalyptus woodlands occur 

mainly on fine-textured soils, with scrub-heath on sands and laterite.  Mallee over myrtaceous-proteaceous 

heaths on duplex (sand over clay) soils are common. Melaleuca shrublands characterise alluvia, and Halosarcia 

low shrublands occur on saline alluvium. A mosaic of mixed eucalypt woodlands and mallee occur on 

calcareous earth plains and sandplains overlying Eocene limestone strata in the east.  The subregion shows a 

very high degree of endemism, particularly in the Proteaceae family (632 spp, 99% endemic; 16 genera, 5 

endemic) and in particular in the genera Grevillea and Hakea.  EucalyptusAcaciaDryandra and Asteraceae 

also contain very high numbers of endemic taxa.   

 

Within the application area a total of 106 species were identified from 24 Families and 47 Genera (Botanica 



Consulting, 2007).  This represents a high level of speciation in a small area and reflects the diverse nature of 

both the eucalypt woodlands and the sandplain heaths that occur within the application area.  For instance, 

within the application area there are 27 species within the Myrtaceae family and 23 species within the 

Proteaceae family, reflecting the diversity of these families within the subregion.  A population of priority flora, 



Microcorys sp. Forrestania (P4), occurs within the application area.  Another species, Microcorys lenticularis 

(P2) occurs within 50 metres of the application area. 

 

More than 75% of the Western Mallee IBRA subregion has been cleared for agriculture (CALM, 2002).  



However, the application area occurs within that part of the sub-region that has not been extensively cleared, ie/ 

not within the intensive land use zone (ILZ).  It is an area that is important for maintaining landscape scale 

ecosystem functions. 

 

More than 35% of the Mallee bioregion's original mammal fauna is now regionally extinct (CALM, 2002).  This is 



mainly due to the extensive land clearing that has occurred.  The application area is suitable habitat for many 

conservation significant fauna species, including Malleefowl (Leipoa ocellata) and Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii

(Biota, 2007). 

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing is at variance to this principle.  However, it is noted that some of the 



area subject to the application has already been disturbed from previous mining activity, including some 

rehabilitated areas.  As a result of this previous disturbance, biological diversity within the application area may 

be impacted.  The assessing officer recommends that should a permit be granted, conditions be placed on the 

permit for the purposes of weed management, rehabilitation of exploration gridlines and avoidance of priority 

flora species. 

 

Methodology 

Biota (2007) 

Botanica Consulting (2007) 

CALM (2002) 

GIS Database: 

- Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia - EA 18/10/00 

 

(b)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if it comprises the whole or a part of, or is necessary for the 



maintenance of, a significant habitat for fauna indigenous to Western Australia. 

Comments 

Proposal may be at variance to this Principle

 

 

Biota Environmental Sciences (hereafter referred to as Biota) have completed four fauna monitoring surveys 

over the application area in February/March 2005, November 2005 (Phase I and II), May 2006 and November 

2006 (Phase III and IV) (Biota, 2007).  These four surveys have resulted in a comprehensive list of fauna 

species that occur within the application area.  The fauna surveys and their subsequent reports adequately 

meet the requirements of EPA Guidance Statement 56 'Terrestrial Fauna Surveys for Environmental Impact 

Assessment in Western Australia' (EPA, 2004).  Biota has stated that considerable sampling effort would be 

required to add a small number of extra species to the survey records (Biota, 2007). 

 

As a result of the fauna surveys, the following conservation significant fauna species have been identified within 



the application area and surrounding vegetation: Carnaby's Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus latirostris), Malleefowl 

(Leipoa ocellata), Chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroi), Western Rosella (Platycercus icterotis xanthogenys), Peregrine 

Falcon (Falco peregrinus), South West Carpet Python (Morelia spilota imbricata), Shy Groundwren (Hylacola 


Page 3  

cauta whitlocki), Rufous Fieldwren (Calamanthus campestris montanellus), Crested Bellbird (Oreoica gutturalis 

gutturalis), White Browed Babbler (Pomatostomus superciliosis ashbyi), Western Brush Wallaby (Macropus 

irma), Western Mouse (Pseudomys occidentalis), Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus). 

 

The Carnaby's White-tailed Black Cockatoo (Schedule 1 - Fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct, Wildlife 



Conservation (Specially Protected Fauna) Notice, 2008) forage in woodland and heath that is dominated by 

proteaceous species (DEC, 2006a).  They nest in hollows of large eucalypts, usually Salmon Gum and 

Wandoo.  The species has severely declined between the 1970's and the present due mainly to extensive land 

clearing, shooting and nest robbing.  The Lake Cronin - Forrestania area is the eastern-most extent of its 

distribution and it would occur there occasionally (Biota, 2007).  The vegetation within the application area is not 

likely to be significant habitat for this species unless large, hollow bearing Salmon Gum Trees are present. 

 

The Malleefowl (Schedule 1 - Fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct, Wildlife Conservation (Specially 



Protected Fauna) Notice 2008) is largely confined to arid and semi-arid woodland that is dominated by mallee 

eucalypts on sandy soils, with less than 430 millimetres of rainfall annually (DEC, 2006b). They may also be 

found in Mulga (Acacia aneura), and other sclerophyllous associations.  They require sandy soils with an 

abundance of leaf litter for breeding.  Biota recorded a disused mound at Diggers South mine approximately 30 

km south of the application area and an active mound was located near the Flying Fox de-watering pipeline

within 3 km of the application area (Biota, 2007).  Western Areas NL staff regularly record the species within the 

Flying Fox/Cosmic Boy/Diggers South mine areas (Biota, 2007).  The assessing officer observed a bird several 

kilometres north of the Digger Rocks mine in November 2006.  It is likely that the species occurs within the 

application area at low densities, although it was not recorded by Biota during their 2006 survey efforts.  Given 

the large amount of suitable vegetation that surrounds the application area, it is unlikely that the vegetation 

within the application area is significant habitat for this species. 

 

The Chuditch (Schedule 1 - Fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct, Wildlife Conservation (Specially 



Protected Fauna) Notice 2008) occupies a wide range of habitats from woodlands, dry sclerophyll (leafy) 

forests, riparian vegetation, beaches and deserts (DEC, 2006c).  They have large home ranges of up to 15 

square kilometres (males).  Chuditch make dens in hollow logs and burrows and have also been recorded in 

tree hollows and cavities. Suitable hollow or burrow entrance diameters are often at least 30 centimetres in 

diameter. An adult female Chuditch may utilise an estimated 66 logs and 110 burrows within her home range.  

Two individual Chuditch were recorded west of the application area in 2006 by Biota (Biota, 2007).  The species 

may occur within the application area, particularly given the feral animal control currently conducted by Western 

Areas NL and the availability of suitable habitat within the application area.  The full extent of the Chuditch 

population in this area cannot be quantified.  However, given this population’s isolation from other populations in 

the state's south-west, the vegetation within the application area may be significant habitat for this species. 

 

The wheatbelt subspecies of Western Rosella (Schedule 1 - Fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct, 



Wildlife Conservation (Specially Protected Fauna) Notice 2008) lives in Eucalypt woodland and its persistence 

is associated with habitat remnants (Garnett et al, 2000).  The main food of the western subspecies is the seeds 

of Casuarina, but it also takes seeds from grass, weedy herbs and fruit.  Nesting of this subspecies is in 

Eucalypt hollows.  This species was recorded from within the application area (Biota, 2007).  Biota has stated 

that the species requires small tree hollows to breed (Biota, 2007), suggesting the species is not reliant on 

mature trees.  However, given the extent of suitable habitat surrounding the application area, the vegetation 

within the application area is not likely to be significant habitat for this species. 

 

Peregrine Falcon (Schedule 4 - Fauna that is in need of special protection, Wildlife Conservation (Specially 



Protected Fauna) Notice, 2008) have a wide home range and utilise tall trees, cliffs, granite outcrops and 

quarries for nesting.  This species was observed over the application area in 2005 (Biota, 2007) and is likely to 

be present sporadically within the application area.  Given the ability of this species to utilise many different 

habitat types for hunting prey, the vegetation within the application area is not likely to be significant habitat for 

this species. 

 

The South West Carpet Python (Schedule 4 - Fauna that is in need of special protection, Wildlife Conservation 



(Specially Protected Fauna) Notice 2008) is widespread throughout the south west from Northampton to 

Kalgoorlie to Esperance (DEC, 2006d).  It is able to utilise a wide variety of habitats from semi-arid coastal and 

inland habitats, Banksia woodland, eucalypt woodlands and grasslands, where it occurs at low densities (DEC, 

2006d).  This species has been recorded near the Flying Fox mine in 2005 (Biota, 2007).  It is likely to be 

present within the application area at low densities.  Given the large amount of vegetation surrounding the 

application area, the vegetation within the application area is not likely to be significant habitat for this species. 

 

Shy Groundwrens (DEC - Priority 4) are known to inhabit dense mallee woodland (Garnett et al, 2000).  Shy 



Groundwrens were recorded during the fauna surveys in 2006 and have been recorded previously within the 

local area (Biota, 2007).  They are likely to be widespread within the application area and surrounds.  Therefore, 

the vegetation within the application area is not likely to be significant habitat for this species. 

 

Rufous Fieldwren (DEC - Priority 4) live in low, sparse heath, saltmarsh or samphire, with or without emergent 



trees (Garnett et al, 2000).  Although declining within the wheatbelt, the species persists in the continuous 

habitat that surrounds the wheatbelt (Garnett et al, 2000).  This species was recorded west of the application 

area during the 2006 survey and is likely to occur within the application area (Biota, 2007).  Given the large 

amount of suitable vegetation surrounding the application area, the vegetation within the application area is not 

likely to be significant habitat for this species. 


Page 4  

 

Crested Bellbirds (DEC - Priority 4) live in the shrub-layer of eucalypt woodland, mallee, Acacia shrubland, 



saltbush, spinifex grasslands and heath (Garnett et al, 2000).  The species appears to be particularly sensitive 

to subsequent fragmentation, with areas of apparently suitable habitat as large as 5,000 ha now unoccupied 

(Garnett et al, 2000).  This species was recorded during all four survey phases and is likely to occur within the 

application area (Biota, 2007).  Given the large amount of suitable vegetation surrounding the application area, 

the vegetation within the application area is not likely to be significant habitat for this species. 

 

The White-browed Babbler (DEC - Priority 4) utilises Eucalypt forest and woodlands within the wheatbelt and 



Southern Goldfields/Great Southern region.  It has declined severely in the agricultural region but persists in the 

uncleared continuous habitat surrounding the wheatbelt (Garnett et al, 2000).  This species was recorded 

during phase I, II an IV of the fauna survey (Biota, 2007). Given the large amount of suitable vegetation 

surrounding the application area, the vegetation within the application area is not likely to be significant habitat 

for this species. 

 

The Western Brush Wallaby (DEC - Priority 4) prefers open forest or woodland, particularly favouring open, 



seasonally wet flats with low grasses and open scrubby thickets. It is also found in some areas of mallee and 

heathland (DEC, 2006e).  Tracks of this species were recorded in the 2006 survey and during phase I and II of 

the fauna survey (Biota, 2007).  Given the large amount of suitable vegetation surrounding the application area, 

the vegetation within the application area is not likely to be significant habitat for this species. 

 

The Rainbow Bee-eater (Migratory species under the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation 



Act, 1996) is able to utilise a wide range of habitat types and nests in sandy soils.  It was recorded during the 

phase II survey (Biota, 2007).  It is likely that this species occurs within the application area whilst feeding.  

Given the large amount of suitable vegetation surrounding the application area, the vegetation within the 

application area is not likely to be significant habitat for this species. 

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing may be at variance to this principle (due to presence of Chuditch).  



The assessing officer recommends that should the permit be granted, conditions be placed on the permit 

requiring the permit holder to salvage hollow logs from the application area prior to clearing, to be relocated to 

nearby habitat. 

 

Methodology 

Biota (2007) 

DEC (2006a) 

DEC (2006b) 

DEC (2006c) 

DEC (2006d) 

DEC (2006e) 

EPA (2004) 

Garnett et al (2000) 

 

(c)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if it includes, or is necessary for the continued existence of, 

rare flora. 

Comments 

Proposal may be at variance to this Principle

 

 

According to available databases, no Declared Rare or Priority flora species occur within the application area 

(GIS Database). 

 

A survey was conducted over the application area by Botanica Consulting on 8th October 2007.  This survey 



involved a desktop assessment of the conservation significant species that may occur within the application 

area, utilising the DEC’s threatened fauna database, and a site visit to identify vegetation types, search for 

conservation significant flora taxa and assess vegetation condition. 

 

As a result of this survey, Botanica Consulting identified one population of Microcorys sp. Forrestania (Priority 



4), located within the Eucalyptus Mallee woodland vegetation type (Botanica Consulting, 2007).  The population 

is estimated to be in the 1000's (Botanica Consulting, 2007).  Western Areas have advised that the population 

occurs in an area that is unlikely to be cleared for mine infrastructure and have committed to avoiding the 

population during exploration activities (Western Areas, 2007). 

 

A population of Microcorys lenticularis (Priority 2) occurs within 50 metres of the application area (Botanica 



Consulting, 2007).  It is not likely that the proposed clearing will impact on this population. 

 

A DEC record of Baeckea sp. North Ironcap (Priority 2) also occurs within the application area.  A search for 



this species at its known location did not locate the population (Botanica Consulting, 2007). 

 

Therefore, the vegetation within the application area may be significant habitat for a population of M. sp



Forrestania. 

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing may be at variance to this Principle.  The assessing officer 



recommends that should a permit be granted, a condition be placed on the permit to prevent clearing within 50 

Page 5  

metres of the M. sp. Forrestania population. 

 

Methodology 

Botanica Consulting (2007) 

Western Areas (2007) 

GIS Database: 

- Declared Rare and Priority Flora List- CALM 01/07/05 

 

(d)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if it comprises the whole or a part of, or is necessary for the 



maintenance of a threatened ecological community. 

Comments 

Proposal is not likely to be at variance to this Principle

 

 

A search of available databases reveals that there are no Threatened Ecological Communities (TECs) within 

the application area (GIS Database).  The nearest TEC is located approximately 80km to the north (Parker 

Range System). 

 

None of the vegetation types identified by Botanica Consulting (2007) are threatened ecological communities or 



ecological communities at risk. 

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing is not at variance to this Principle. 



 

Methodology 

Botanica Consulting (2007) 

GIS Database: 

- Threatened Ecological Communities - CALM 12/4/05 

 

(e)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if it is significant as a remnant of native vegetation in an area 

that has been extensively cleared. 

Comments 

Proposal is not likely to be at variance to this Principle

 

 

According to available GIS databases, the application area occurs within the Mallee IBRA Bioregion and 

Western Mallee IBRA Sub-bioregion (GIS Databases).  The Mallee IBRA Bioregion remains at 54% of its pre-

European vegetation extent (See table below).  This gives the IBRA Bioregion a conservation status of "least 

concern" according to "Bioregional Conservation Status of Ecological Vegetation Classes" (Department of 

Natural Resources, 2002).   

 

The bioregion straddles that area of the state subject to intensive land clearing (Intensive Landuse Zone - ILZ) 



and that area of the state that is largely uncleared (Extensive Landuse Zone - ELZ).  The Western Mallee IBRA 

Sub-bioregion falls largely within the ILZ and remains at 33% of its pre-european vegetation extent.  This gives 

the Western Mallee IBRA Sub-bioregion a conservation status of "depleted" according to "Bioregional 

Conservation Status of Ecological Vegetation Classes" (Department of Natural Resources, 2002).  However, 

the application area falls within the ELZ.  The proposed clearing will not cause the vegetation extent to fall 

below threshold levels within either the bioregion or sub-bioregion. 

 

Vegetation within the Shire of Kondinin remains at 50% of its pre-european extent.  The majority of the 



remaining vegetation is located within the ELZ.  The assessing officer suggests that the conservation status of 

the remaining vegetation should be given a rating of "depleted" as much of the vegetation remaining within the 

ILZ is of varying condition and occurs in small isolated remnants whose condition is likely to be in decline.  

 

Within the Bioregion, the two Beard vegetation associations located within the application area have a 



conservation status of "depleted" according to "Bioregional Conservation Status of Ecological Vegetation 

Classes" (Department of Natural Resources, 2002).  This is largely due to the bioregion extending into the ILZ.  

However, it is not likely that the clearing of 15 hectares of vegetation will significantly impact the conservation of 

these vegetation types. 

 


Page 6  

 

* Shepherd et al. (2001) updated 2007 



** Department of Natural Resources and Environment (2002) 

 

Analysis of aerial photography provided by the applicant (Western Areas, 2007) suggests much of the 



application area appears to be previously disturbed and surrounded by largely undisturbed vegetation.  

Therefore the application area is not likely to be a significant remnant of vegetation in an area that is extensively 

cleared. 

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing is not likely to be at variance to this Principle. 



 

 

Pre-European 



area (ha)* 

Current extent 

(ha)* 

Remaining 



%* 

Conservation 

Status** 

Pre-european 

% in IUCN 

Class I-IV 

Reserves (and 

post clearing %) 

IBRA Bioregion – 

Mallee 


7,395,902 

 

4,017,869 



 

54 


 

Least 


Concern 

18 (31) 


 

IBRA Subregion – 

Western Mallee 

3,981,720 

 

1,307,541 



 

33 Depleted 

10 

(25) 


Local Government 

– Kondinin 

737,192 369,708 50  Depleted 

n/a 


Beard veg assoc. 

– State 


 

 

 



 

 

511 700,414 



 

493,991 70.5 Least 

Concern 

14 (19) 


2048 322,222 

155,960 


48.4 

Depleted 7 

(14.5) 

Beard veg assoc. 



– Bioregion 

 

 



 

 

 



511 139,592 

46,665 


33 

Depleted 10.5 

(19.5) 

2048 313,733 



150,044 

48 


Depleted 7 

(14.5) 


Beard veg assoc. - 

subregion 

 

 

 



 

 

511 139,592 



46,665 

33 


Depleted 10.5 

(19.5) 


2048 313,698 

150,009 


48 

Least 


Concern 

7 (14.5) 



Methodology 

Department of Natural Resources and Environment (2002) 

Shepherd et al. (2001)  

Western Areas (2007) 

GIS Databases: 

- Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia - EA 18/10/00 

- Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia (subregions) - EA 18/10/00 

 

 



(f)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if it is growing in, or in association with, an environment 

associated with a watercourse or wetland. 

Comments 

Proposal is not at variance to this Principle

 

 

According to available databases, there are no watercourses or wetlands within the application area. 

 

The vegetation types identified by Botanica Consulting (2007) are not examples of riparian vegetation. 



 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing is not at variance to this Principle. 

 

Methodology 

Botanica Consulting (2007) 

 

(g)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if the clearing of the vegetation is likely to cause appreciable 

land degradation. 

Comments 

Proposal may be at variance to this Principle

 

 

Soil types within the application are either brown/red clay loams in areas of lower elevation or light sand over 

lateritic soil in areas of higher elevation (Western Areas, 2007). The brown/red clay loam soils located in the 

lower undulating plains within the application area have a low wind erodability (Schoknecht, 2002).  The light 

sands over laterite in the elevated areas within the application are may be prone to wind erosion and may 

become seasonally waterlogged. 

 

Ground water levels at the existing Flying Fox mine are in the order of 50 - 200 metres below ground level 



(Western Areas, 2007).  At these depths, the clearing of native vegetation is not likely to lead to a rise in 

groundwater, causing salinisation.  Furthermore, groundwater pumping associated with the Flying Fox mine is 

likely to maintain groundwater levels in this area. 


Page 7  

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing may be at variance to this principle. 



 

Western Areas NL have advised that they intend to utilise previously disturbed ground if possible and will be 

installing surface water management earthworks to prevent accellerated erosion (Western Areas, 2007). 

 

Methodology 

Schoknecht (2002) 

Western Areas (2007) 

 

(h)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if the clearing of the vegetation is likely to have an impact on 

the environmental values of any adjacent or nearby conservation area. 

Comments 

Proposal is not likely to be at variance to this Principle

 

 

The proposed clearing area occurs within an ESA  (red book area) which is a buffer zone surrounding Lake 

Cronin.  At its closest point, the clearing is approximately 2.7 kilometres from the Lake Cronin Nature Reserve 

boundary.    

 

According to the Australian Heritage Database (DEWR, 2008) the Lake Cronin Nature Reserve is dominated by 



mallee and woodland associations.  This is one of the three vegetation types described by Botanica Consulting 

in their 2007 vegetation survey as occuring within the proposed clearing area (Botanica Consulting, 2007).  The 

habitat to be cleared is therefore represented within conservation estate.  The other, sandplain heath, is very 

common in the Mallee bioregion east of the Intensive Land Use Zone (that part of the state extensively cleared 

for agriculture) and is likely to also occur within Lake Cronin Nature Reserve. 

 

Lake Cronin Nature Reserve is surrounded by extensive vegetation and the clearing of up to 15 hectares of 



vegetation approximately 2.7 kilometres from the reserve will not effect ecological linkage to the reserve. 

 

Therefore despite the area being on the Register of National Estate for natural values it is considered that the 



clearing to take place will not significantly impact on the environmental values of a conservation area, or its 

buffer. 


 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing is not likely to be at variance to this Principle. 

 

Methodology 

Botanica Consulting (2007) 

DEWR (2008) 

 

(i)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if the clearing of the vegetation is likely to cause deterioration 



in the quality of surface or underground water. 

Comments 

Proposal is not likely to be at variance to this Principle

 

 

The application area occurs within an area which receives rainfall of approximately 344.6 millimetres per year 

(BoM, 2007) and experiences a pan evaporation rate of 2200 millimetres per year (Luke et al, 1987).  

Therefore, there is likely to be little surface water flow during normal seasonal rains.  Sedimentation or turbidity 

of waterbodies is not likely as there are no permanent water bodies in the application area or near vicinity.  The 

drainage line that runs through the application area is not likely to carry run-off unless there are very intense 

rainfall events. 

 

Groundwater in the area has been measured at between 30,000- 50,000 Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) (Western 



Areas, 2007). This groundwater is located 50 metres below the surface (Western Areas, 2007).  Vegetation is 

not dependant on groundwater at this depth and at such hypersaline levels.   

 

The low rainfall and high evaporation rates mentioned above suggest that the clearing of 15 hectares of 



vegetation is not likely to increase groundwater levels in the area. 

 

It is noted by the assessing officer that Western Areas NL pump saline groundwater from the Flying Fox pit.  



Therefore, groundwater levels will in the application area are likely to be lower than normal levels. 

 

The Department of Water have advised that the area is not within the Avon River System Proclaimed Surface 



Water Management Area and therefore there is no requirement under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 

1914 Act (RIWI Act) for a license to take surface water or for the requirement for a permit to interfere with the 

bed or bank of a watercourse (DoW, 2008).  The area is proclaimed under the RIWI Act as a groundwater 

management area and therefore a license is required to take groundwater (DoW, 2008). 

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing is not likely to be at variance to this Principle. 



 

Methodology 

BoM (2008) 

Luke et al (1987) 

Western Areas (2007) 

 


Page 8  

(j)  Native vegetation should not be cleared if clearing the vegetation is likely to cause, or exacerbate, the 

incidence or intensity of flooding. 

Comments 

Proposal is not likely to be at variance to this Principle

 

 

The application area occurs within both the Swan/Avon - Yilgarn, and Swan/Avon - Lockhart catchments (GIS 

Database).  The Swan/Avon - Yilgarn catchment has an area of 28392.6 square kilometres and the Swan/Avon 

- Lockhart catchment has an area of 58360.5 square kilometres.  The removal of 15 hectares within either of 

these catchments is not likely to lead to a increase in flood height or duration. 

 

Average rainfall in the vicinity of the application area is approximately 344.6 millimetres per year (BoM, 2007).  



Rain falls mostly in winter with some summer falls associated with tropical depressions.  The application area 

experiences an evaporation rate of 2200 millimetres per year (Luke et al, 1987).  This suggests that water that 

pools on the ground is likely to evaporate quickly. 

 

Based on the above, the proposed clearing is not likely to be at variance to this Principle. 



 

Methodology 

BoM (2007) 

Luke et al (2007) 

GIS Databases: 

- Hydrographic Catchments - Catchments. 

 

Planning instrument, Native Title, Previous EPA decision or other matter. 



Comments 

 

 

There is no native title claim over the area under application (GIS Database).   

 

There are no Aboriginal sites of significance that intersect with the application area.  It is the proponent's 



responsibility to comply with the Aboriginal Heritage Act, 1972 and ensure that no sites of aboriginal 

significance are damaged though the clearing process. 

 

The Department of Water have advised that the area is not within the Avon River System Proclaimed Surface 



Water Management Area and therefore there is no requirement under the Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 

1914 Act (RIWI Act) for a license to take surface water or for the requirement for a permit to interfere with the 

bed or bank of a watercourse (DoW, 2008).  The area is proclaimed under the RIWI Act as a groundwater 

management area and therefore a license is required to take groundwater (DoW, 2008). 

 

There were no public comments received during the public comments period. 



Methodology 

DoW (2008) 

GIS Database: 

- Native Title Claims - DLI 

- Aboriginal Sites of Significance - DIA 

4. Assessor’s 

comments 

 

Purpose Method Applied 



 

area (ha)/ trees  

Comment 

Mineral 


Production 

Mechanical 

Removal 

15 


 

The proposal has been assessed against the Clearing Principles and is at variance to Principle (a), may 

be at variance to Principles (b), (c) and (g), not likely to be at variance to Principles (d), (e), (h) and (j) 

and is not at variance to Principle (f). 

 

It is recommended that should a permit be granted, conditions be endorsed on the permit with regards 



to weed managment, retention of topsoil and vegetative material cleared to be used in rehabilitation and 

recording the areas cleared. 

 

5. References 

Biota (2007). Forrestania Fauna Monitoring Survey - Flying Fox Phases III and IV.  Unpublished report prepared for Western 

Areas NL by Biota Environmental Sciences Pty Ltd. 

BoM (2007)  http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/averages/tables/cw_010568.shtml 

Botanical Consulting (2007).  Flora and Vegetation Survey within the Greater Flying Fox Area (Tenements M77/545, M77/911 

& M77/582).  Unpublished report prepared for Western Areas NL by Botanica Consulting. 

DEC (2006a).  Carnaby's black cockatoo.  URL:  

http://www.naturebase.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,117/Itemid,1288/  Accessed 

22/8/07.  Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia. 

DEC (2006b).  Malleefowl.  URL:  

http://www.naturebase.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,118/Itemid,1288/ Accessed 

22/8/07.  Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia. 

DEC (2006c).  Chuditch.  URL:  

http://www.naturebase.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,125/Itemid,1288/  Accessed 

22/8/07.  Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia 


Page 9  

DEC (2006d). Carpert Python.  URL:  

http://www.naturebase.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,138/Itemid,1288/  Accessed 

23/8/07.  Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia. 

DEC (2006e). Western Brush Wallaby.  URL:  

http://www.naturebase.net/component/option,com_docman/task,doc_download/gid,135/Itemid,1288/  Accessed 

23/8/07.  Department of Environment and Conservation, Western Australia. 

Department of Conservation and Land Management (2002) A Biodiversity Audit of Western Australia's 53 Biogeographical 

Subregions. 

Department of Natural Resources and Environment (2002) Biodiversity Action Planning. Action planning for native biodiversity 

at multiple scales; catchment bioregional, landscape, local. Department of Natural Resources and Environment, 

Victoria. 

DEWR (2008). Australian Heritage Database http://www.deh.gov.au/cgi-bin/ahdb/search.pl Accessed 14/2/08.  Department of 

Environment and Water Resources. 

DoW (2008). Advice to assessing officer, Native Vegetation Assessment Branch, Department of Industry and Resources 

(DoIR), received 4/4/08. Department of Water, Western Australia. 

EPA (2004) Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors - terrestrial fauna  for Environmental Impact Assessment 

in Western Australia. Report by the EPA under the Environmental Protection Act 1986. No 56 WA.  

Garnett ST & Crowley GM (2000). Action Plan for Australian Birds 2000. Environment Australia, Canberra. 

Keighery, B.J. (1994) Bushland Plant Survey: A Guide to Plant Community Survey for the Community. Wildflower Society of 

WA (Inc). Nedlands, Western Australia.  

Luke, GJ,  Burke KL and O'Brien TM (1987). Evaporation Data for Western Australia. Resource Management Technical Report 

No. 65. Department of Agriculture, Western Australia. 

Schoknecht N. (2002) Soil Groups of Western Australia. A simple guide to the main soils of Western Australia. Resource 

Management Technical Report 246. Edition 3 

Shepherd, D.P., Beeston, G.R. and Hopkins, A.J.M. (2001) Native Vegetation in Western Australia, Extent, Type and Status. 

Resource Management Technical Report 249. Department of Agriculture, Western Australia. 

SLIP (2008). Shared Land Information Platform http://spatial.agric.wa.gov.au/slip/home.htm  Accessed 13/2/08. 

Western Areas (2007).  Supporting Document for the Proposed Flying Fox and Lounge Lizard Exploration Purpose Clearing 

Permit Application, Tenements (M77/545 & M77/582). 

 

 

 



 

6. Glossary 

 

  Acronyms: 



 

BoM

 

Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Government.



 

CALM

 

Department of Conservation and Land Management, Western Australia.



 

DAFWA

 

Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia.



 

DA

 

Department of Agriculture, Western Australia.



 

DEC 

Department of Environment and Conservation 



DEH 

Department  of Environment and Heritage (federal based in Canberra) previously Environment Australia 



DEP

 

Department of Environment Protection (now DoE), Western Australia.



 

DIA 

Department of Indigenous Affairs 



DLI

 

Department of Land Information, Western Australia. 



DoE

 

Department of Environment, Western Australia.



 

DoIR

 

Department of Industry and Resources, Western Australia.



 

DOLA

 

Department of Land Administration, Western Australia.



 

DoW 

Department of Water 



EP Act

 

Environment Protection Act 1986, Western Australia.



 

EPBC Act 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Federal Act) 



GIS

 

Geographical Information System.



 

IBRA

 

Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia.



 

IUCN 

International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources – commonly known as the World 

Conservation Union 

RIWI

 

Rights in Water and Irrigation Act 1914, Western Australia.



 

s.17 

Section 17 of the Environment Protection Act 1986, Western Australia. 



TECs

 

Threatened Ecological Communities.



 

 

   



Definitions: 

 

{Atkins, K (2005). Declared rare and priority flora list for Western Australia, 22 February 2005. Department of Conservation and 

Land Management, Como, Western Australia} :-

 

 



P1 

Priority One - Poorly Known taxa: taxa which are known from one or a few (generally <5) populations 

which are under threat, either due to small population size, or being on lands under immediate threat, e.g. 

road verges, urban areas, farmland, active mineral leases, etc., or the plants are under threat, e.g. from 

disease, grazing by feral animals, etc. May include taxa with threatened populations on protected lands. 



Page 10  

Such taxa are under consideration for declaration as ‘rare flora’, but are in urgent need of further survey. 



 

P2 

Priority Two - Poorly Known taxa: taxa which are known from one or a few (generally <5) populations, at 

least some of which are not believed to be under immediate threat (i.e. not currently endangered). Such taxa 

are under consideration for declaration as ‘rare flora’, but are in urgent need of further survey. 

 

P3 

Priority Three - Poorly Known taxa: taxa which are known from several populations, at least some of which 

are not believed to be under immediate threat (i.e. not currently endangered). Such taxa are under 

consideration for declaration as ‘rare flora’, but are in need of further survey. 

 

P4 

Priority Four – Rare taxa: taxa which are considered to have been adequately surveyed and which, whilst 

being rare (in Australia), are not currently threatened by any identifiable factors. These taxa require 

monitoring every 5–10 years. 

 

R

Declared Rare Flora – Extant taxa (= Threatened Flora = Endangered + Vulnerable): taxa which have been 

adequately searched for, and are deemed to be in the wild either rare, in danger of extinction, or otherwise in 

need of special protection, and have been gazetted as such, following approval by the Minister for the 

Environment, after recommendation by the State’s Endangered Flora Consultative Committee. 



 

X

Declared Rare Flora - Presumed Extinct taxa: taxa which have not been collected, or otherwise verified, 

over the past 50 years despite thorough searching, or of which all known wild populations have been 

destroyed more recently, and have been gazetted as such, following approval by the Minister for the 

Environment, after recommendation by the State’s Endangered Flora Consultative Committee.  



 

          

 

{Wildlife Conservation (Specially Protected Fauna) Notice 2005} [Wildlife Conservation Act 1950] :- 

 

Schedule 1 



 

Schedule 1 – Fauna that is rare or likely to become extinct: being fauna that is rare or likely to become 

extinct, are declared to be fauna that is need of special protection. 



 

Schedule 2      Schedule 2 – Fauna that is presumed to be extinct: being fauna that is presumed to be extinct, are 

declared to be fauna that is need of special protection. 



 

Schedule 3   

 

Schedule 3 – Birds protected under an international agreement: being birds that are subject to an 

agreement between the governments of Australia and Japan relating to the protection of migratory birds and 

birds in danger of extinction, are declared to be fauna that is need of special protection. 

 

 

 

Schedule 4   

 

Schedule 4 – Other specially protected fauna: being fauna that is declared to be fauna that is in need of 

special protection, otherwise than for the reasons mentioned in Schedules 1, 2 or 3. 



 

 

{CALM (2005). Priority Codes for Fauna. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Como, Western Australia} :-

 

 

P1 

Priority One: Taxa with few, poorly known populations on threatened lands: Taxa which are known 

from few specimens or sight records from one or a few localities on lands not managed for conservation, e.g. 

agricultural or pastoral lands, urban areas, active mineral leases.  The taxon needs urgent survey and 

evaluation of conservation status before consideration can be given to declaration as threatened fauna. 



 

P2 

Priority Two: Taxa with few, poorly known populations on conservation lands: Taxa which are known 

from few specimens or sight records from one or a few localities on lands not under immediate threat of 

habitat destruction or degradation, e.g. national parks, conservation parks, nature reserves, State forest, 

vacant Crown land, water reserves, etc.  The taxon needs urgent survey and evaluation of conservation 

status before consideration can be given to declaration as threatened fauna. 

 

P3 

Priority Three: Taxa with several, poorly known populations, some on conservation lands: Taxa which 

are known from few specimens or sight records from several localities, some of which are on lands not under 

immediate threat of habitat destruction or degradation.  The taxon needs urgent survey and evaluation of 

conservation status before consideration can be given to declaration as threatened fauna. 



 

P4 

Priority Four: Taxa in need of monitoring: Taxa which are considered to have been adequately surveyed, 

or for which sufficient knowledge is available, and which are considered not currently threatened or in need 

of special protection, but could be if present circumstances change.  These taxa are usually represented on 

conservation lands. 



 

P5

Priority Five: Taxa in need of monitoring: Taxa which are not considered threatened but are subject to a 

specific conservation program, the cessation of which would result in the species becoming threatened within 

five years. 

 

 

Categories of threatened species (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999)  



EX Extinct: 

 

A native species for which there is no reasonable doubt that the last member of the species has 

died. 

 

EX(W) 



Extinct in the wild:  A native species which: 

(a)  is known only to survive in cultivation, in captivity or as a naturalised population well outside its past 

range;  or  

(b)  has not been recorded in its known and/or expected habitat, at appropriate seasons, anywhere in its 

past range,  despite exhaustive surveys over a time frame appropriate to its life cycle and form. 

 

CR 

Critically Endangered:  A native species which is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild in 

the immediate future, as determined in accordance with the prescribed criteria. 



 

EN Endangered: 

 

A native species which:   

(a)  is not critically endangered;  and 


Page 11  

(b)  is facing a very high risk of extinction in the wild in the near future, as determined in accordance with the 

prescribed criteria. 

 

VU Vulnerable: 



 

A native species which: 

(a)  is not critically endangered or endangered;  and 

(b)  is facing a high risk of extinction in the wild in the medium-term future, as determined in accordance with 

the prescribed criteria. 

 

CD Conservation 



Dependent: 

 

A native species which is the focus of a specific conservation program, the 

cessation of which would result in the species becoming vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered 

within a period of 5 years. 



 

 

 



Document Outline

  • 1. Application details  
    • 1.1. Permit application details
    • 1.2. Proponent details
    • 1.3. Property details
    • 1.4. Application
  • 2. Site Information
    • 2.1. Existing environment and information
      • 2.1.1. Description of the native vegetation under application
  • 3. Assessment of application against clearing principles
    • (a) Native vegetation should not be cleared if it comprises a high level of biological diversity.
    • (b) Native vegetation should not be cleared if it comprises the whole or a part of, or is necessary for the maintenance of, a significant habitat for fauna indigenous to Western Australia.
      • Proposal may be at variance to this Principle
        • (c) Native vegetation should not be cleared if it includes, or is necessary for the continued existence of, rare flora.
          • Proposal may be at variance to this Principle
        • (d) Native vegetation should not be cleared if it comprises the whole or a part of, or is necessary for the maintenance of a threatened ecological community.
          • Proposal is not likely to be at variance to this Principle
        • (e) Native vegetation should not be cleared if it is significant as a remnant of native vegetation in an area that has been extensively cleared.
        • (f) Native vegetation should not be cleared if it is growing in, or in association with, an environment associated with a watercourse or wetland.
        • (g) Native vegetation should not be cleared if the clearing of the vegetation is likely to cause appreciable land degradation.
        • (h) Native vegetation should not be cleared if the clearing of the vegetation is likely to have an impact on the environmental values of any adjacent or nearby conservation area.
        • (i) Native vegetation should not be cleared if the clearing of the vegetation is likely to cause deterioration in the quality of surface or underground water.
        • (j) Native vegetation should not be cleared if clearing the vegetation is likely to cause, or exacerbate, the incidence or intensity of flooding.
        • Planning instrument, Native Title, Previous EPA decision or other matter.
  • 4. Assessor’s comments
  • 5. References
  • 6. Glossary
    • Categories of threatened species (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999) 
    • EX
    • Extinct:  A native species for which there is no reasonable doubt that the last member of the species has died.


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