Cooljarloo west project flora and vegetation assessment



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TIWEST PTY LTD 



 

 

COOLJARLOO WEST PROJECT 

 

 

 



 

 

FLORA AND VEGETATION ASSESSMENT 

 

 

 



September 2009 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

A.C.N. 088 055 903 



 

Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

 

DOCUMENT REVISION HISTORY 

 

Revision 



Description 

Originator 

Reviewed 

Date 

REVA 


draft report for client review 

BT 


GW 

20-03-09 

REV0 final 

report  BT 

GW/CW 

8-06-09 


REV1 

risk assessment incorporated 

BT 

GW/CW 


17-08-09 

REV2 final 

report  BT 

GW/CW 


15-09-09 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



WEC REF: Tiwest08-19-01 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



DISCLAIMER 

 

This document is prepared in accordance with and subject to an agreement between 



Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd (“Woodman Environmental”) and the 

client for whom it has been prepared (“Tiwest”) and is restricted to those issues that 

have been raised by the Client in its engagement of Woodman Environmental and 

prepared using the standard of skill and care ordinarily exercised by Environmental 

Scientists in the preparation of such Documents. 

 

Any organisation or person that relies on or uses this document for purposes or 



reasons other than those agreed by Woodman Environmental and the Client without 

first obtaining the prior written consent of Woodman Environmental, does so entirely 

at their own risk and Woodman Environmental denies all liability in tort, contract or 

otherwise for any loss, damage or injury of any kind whatsoever (whether in 

negligence or otherwise) that may be suffered as a consequence of relying on this 

document for any purpose other than that agreed with the Client. 

 

Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 

 

 



Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

TABLE OF CONTENTS 

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ..........................................................................................1 

1.  INTRODUCTION ................................................................................................3 

1.1 


AIMS ..........................................................................................................4 

2.  BACKGROUND ....................................................................................................4 

2.1 


PREVIOUS

 

SURVEYS



 

WITHIN


 

THE


 

PROJECT


 

AREA


 

AND


 

REGION


 ....................................................................................................................7 

3.  METHODS ..........................................................................................................13 

3.1 


PRELIMINARY

 

MAPPING....................................................................13 



3.2 

FIELD


 

SURVEY......................................................................................14 



4.  RESULTS .............................................................................................................15 

4.1 


FLORA.....................................................................................................15 

4.2 


VEGETATION .......................................................................................23 

4.2.1 

Cooljarloo West Project Area ..........................................................................23 

4.2.2 

Distribution of Communities Recorded Within Tiwest Cooljarloo Leases by Woodman 

Environmental Between 2005 and 2008 ...........................................................28 

4.2.3 

Threatened Ecological Communities ..................................................................31 

5.   RISK ASSESSMENT FOR FUTURE EXPLORATION DRILLING 

PROGRAMS .........................................................................................................32 

6.  DISCUSSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS ................................................39 

6.1 


POTENTIAL

 

IMPACTS



 

OF

 



EXPLORATION

 

DRILLING ..................39 



6.2 

RECOMMENDATIONS.........................................................................39 



7.  REFERENCES ....................................................................................................41 

 

APPENDICIES 

 

Appendix A:  Description  of  Conservation Codes (DEC 2009a); Definitions of 



Threatened Ecological Communities (DEC 2009b) 

 

Appendix B:  Vascular Plant Taxa Recorded Within the Cooljarloo West Project 



Area and Falcon Area by Woodman Environmental, 2005 - 2008 

 

Appendix 



C:  Vascular Plant Taxa Recorded in each Community Within the 

Cooljarloo West Project Area and Falcon Area by Woodman 

Environmental, 2005 - 2008 

 

Appendix D:  Photographic Record of Communities Recorded Within the Cooljarloo 



West Project Area 

 

 



 

Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 

 

 



Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

Appendix E:  Priority Flora Species Recorded within the Project Area and Falcon 

Area during Surveys Conducted  by Woodman Environmental 2005- 

2008 in Addition to Data Provided by Tiwest (2009) and the 

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC 2009c) 

 

FIGURES 

 

Figure 1: 



Cooljarloo West Project, Location  

 

Figure 2: 



Cooljarloo West Project, Plant Communities and Locations of Detailed 

Recording Sites and Quadrats Established 2005 to 2008 

 

Figure 3: 



Cooljarloo West Project, Declared Rare Flora Species Locations 

 

Figure 4: 



Cooljarloo West Project, Priority Flora Species Locations 

 

Figure 5: 



Cooljarloo West Project, Pre-european Vegetation 

 

TABLES 

 

Table 1: 



Description, Pre-european Extent, Current Extent and Reservation 

Status of Vegetation Associations Related to Physiognomy in the 

Cooljarloo West Project Area (Shepherd et. al. 2002) 

 

Table 



2:  Declared Rare Flora and Priority Flora Species 

 

Recorded within the Falcon Project Area during Surveys Conducted by 



Woodman Environmental, 2005- 2008 

 

Table 3: 



Summary of Sites and Quadrats Established Within the Cooljarloo 

West Project Area and Falcon Area During Various Studies Conducted 

by Woodman Environmental  

 

Table 4: 



DRF and Priority Flora Species Recorded within the Project Area and 

Falcon Area during Surveys Conducted by Woodman Environmental 

2005 - 2008 in Addition to Data Provided by Tiwest (2009) and the 

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC 2009c)



 

 

Table 5: 



Poorly Known Taxa and Range Extensions Recorded within the 

Cooljarloo West Project Area



 

 

Table 6: 



Comparison  of  Communities Recorded Within the Cooljarloo West 

Project Area and Falcon Project Area 

 

Table 


7: 

Hectares Calculated for Each Community Recorded Within the 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

Table 8: 



DRF Species Located Within the Falcon and Cooljarloo West Leases 

 

Table 9: 



Poorly Known Priority Flora Species Located Within the Falcon and 

Cooljarloo West Leases 



Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 

 

 



Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

 

Table 10: 



Plant Communities within the Cooljarloo West Project Area with 

<50ha Distribution 

 

Table 11: 



FCT and Plant Communities within the Falcon and Cooljarloo Leases 

Requiring Additional Survey or Avoidance during Exploration Drilling



Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 

 

 



Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Tiwest Pty Ltd (Tiwest) commissioned Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 

(Woodman Environmental) to conduct detailed flora and vegetation studies of the 

Cooljarloo West exploration leases (E70/2345, E70/2346), primarily to assess potential 

environmental impacts from a proposed exploration program and to provide information 

to mitigate impacts (Figure 1).  

 

Experienced botanists carried out the structural plant community mapping in November 



2008. Data collected previously within the project area by Woodman Environmental 

during studies for the Empire Oil 3D Seismic Survey Program (WEC 2006a) were also 

used to produce the final vegetation map (Figure 2). 

 

A total of 286 detailed recording sites were positioned within the Cooljarloo West 



project area during the studies conducted by Woodman Environmental between 2005 

and 2008. A total of 617 native plant taxa and 42 introduced (weed) taxa have been 

recorded within the Cooljarloo West project area during the surveys. The Declared 

Plant (weed) Moraea flaccida was recorded at 3 locations during the surveys. This 

species is listed as a P1 species, prohibiting the movement of plants, seeds and 

contaminated machinery within the state (DAF 2009).  

 

A total of four Declared Rare Flora species were recorded during the surveys as listed 



below: 

 



 

Andersonia gracilis 

 



Anigozanthos viridis subsp. terraspectans 

 



Eremophila glabra subsp. chlorella 

 



Macarthuria keigheryi 

 

A total of 31 Priority Flora species were recorded during the surveys. There are an 



additional 22 Priority Flora species historically known from the project area (Figure 4).  

 

A total of 22 structural plant communities were described and mapped within the 



project. None of the plant communities recorded correspond with listed Threatened 

Ecological Communities (TECs) as defined by the Department of Environment and 

Conservation (DEC 2009e).  

 

Community T5 (Cooljarloo Swamp) may correspond with the PEC ‘Priority 1– 



‘Claypans with mid dense shrublands of Melaleuca lateritia over herbs’ and may 

possibly represent a restricted community. The potential underground mound spring 

associated with Community W4 adjacent to Woolka Rd may be regionally restricted. 

Community W8 was also restricted within the project area (representing only 11.6ha) 

and may also be regionally restricted. 

 

Exploration drilling within the Falcon and Cooljarloo West project areas have the 



potential to adversely impact flora and vegetation. Potential impacts include: 

 

Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 



 

1.


Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

 



Disturbance to plant communities. Full clearing of vegetation will not be required 

along exploration drill lines as drill rigs and associated vehicles drive over existing 

low vegetation and avoid trees. Occasionally a rubber tyred loader will be used to 

flatten vegetation for vehicle access where it is too high or thick for light vehicles 

and drill rigs to drive over.  

 



 

Loss of individuals of significant flora species. There are a number of Declared Rare 

and Priority Flora species that may potentially be located within areas to be 

disturbed 

 



 



Risk of fire – Vehicle movement and machinery operation has the potential to cause 

fires in densely vegetated areas 

 



 



Negative impacts to conservation values of reserves – Part of the project area is 

located within Reserve No. A40916. Introduction of weeds or plant diseases, or 

ignition of a wildfire during drilling activities could impact the conservation value 

of the reserve. 

 



 



Potential introduction and spread of weeds and plant diseases such as P. cinnamomi 

by ground disturbance activities and vehicle traffic. 

 



 



Indirect impacts – Ground disturbance activities may impact surface drainage 

patterns and cause drainage shadows or ponding, impacting on the health of the 

flora 

 

 



The following recommendations are made based on the results of the flora and 

vegetation surveys and are relevant for future works within the Falcon and Cooljarloo 

West project areas: 

 



 

Where possible all wetlands should be avoided (Table 11) to minimise erosion 

impacts and disturbances to local drainage patterns. 

 



Where possible, proposed drilling programs should utilise existing cleared access 

tracks to minimise clearing 

 

Proposed drilling programs should avoid all known locations of DRF species (Table 



8) and poorly known significant flora species (Table 9). 

 



Potential impacts to DRF species Macarthuria keigheryi and Andersonia gracilis 

may be supported with a ‘Permit to Take’ application 

 

Proposed drilling programs should consider the framework summarised in Table 11 



for impacts to FCTs and plant communities recorded in the Falcon and Cooljarloo 

West project areas. This will identify communities requiring avoidance or additional 

survey to appropriately manage impacts to restricted (<50ha) communities and DRF 

species. 



Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 

 

2.


Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

 



Weed and P. cinnamomi hygiene measures in the form of an integrated hygiene 

management plan for proposed drilling programs should be implemented.  

 

Quadrat based floristic assessments should be conducted if proposed drilling 



programs identify viable orebodies for mining. This will provide the appropriate 

level of investigation and regional context to support an impact assessment under 

the Environmental Protection Act 1986

 

 



 

 

1.



 

INTRODUCTION 

Tiwest operate a number of exploration leases (E70/2345, E70/2346) located west of 

the current mining operations (Cooljarloo West) within M268SA. These leases are 

located predominantly within Private Property (pastoral leases) and Unallocated Crown 

Land, with a small section encompassing Reserve No. A40916.  

 

Tiwest commissioned Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd (Woodman 



Environmental) to conduct detailed flora and vegetation studies of the Cooljarloo West 

area (the project area) to support proposed drilling programs and provide the basis for 

further floristic studies required for an Environmental Impact Assessment. This report 

collates and utilises data from the 2008 survey in addition to data obtained from a 

number of previous studies. Data sources include: 

 



 

Reconnaissance survey (structural vegetation mapping) of the Falcon area 

(WEC 2006a) 

 



Comprehensive survey (Floristic Community Type mapping) of the Falcon area 

(WEC 2007a, 2009) 

 

Reconnaissance survey (structural vegetation mapping) for the Empire Oil 



Mullering Onshore 3D Seismic Survey Program (WEC 2006b) 

 



Declared Rare and Priority Flora locations obtained from the Tiwest database 

(2009) 


 

Declared Rare and Priority Flora locations obtained from the DEC (2009c) 



 

Historical locations of TECs as listed and provided by the DEC (2009d) 



 

Flora and vegetation assessments for Environmental Impact Assessments have been 

conducted in accordance with the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) document 

“Guidance for the Assessment of Environmental Factors No. 51” – Terrestrial flora and 

vegetation surveys for environmental impact assessment in Western Australia (EPA 

2004).  Due to the location of the survey area and the presence of Declared Rare Flora 

(DRF) and endemic species and communities and the nature of the proposed impact 

being Low, the level of investigation conducted was Level 1, incorporating background 

research and a reconnaissance survey. 

 

Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 



 

3.


Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

1.1 AIMS 

The aim of this project was to obtain information on the plant communities and flora 

species in remnant native vegetation within the project area.  Information collected 

during these surveys will facilitate management of impacts to flora and vegetation for 

proposed exploration programs and provide data for additional impact assessments for 

future mining should it be considered. 

 

The tasks required to meet this aim were: 



 

Vegetation 

1.

 



Review and collate existing data on soil and vegetation within the survey area. 

2.

 



Map the plant communities within the survey area from aerial photography followed 

by ground confirmation. 

3.

 

Collect quantitative data from sites located within each plant community. 



4.

 

Review the conservation status of each plant community and its sensitivity to 



disturbance. 

5.

 



Record the condition of the vegetation. 

 

Flora 

1.

 

Review and collate existing data on Conservation Significant Flora including 



Declared Rare and Priority Flora in the survey area. 

2.

 



Produce a list of the vascular plant species recorded within each community, based 

on site data as well as opportunistic collecting. 



2. BACKGROUND 

The project area is located within the Irwin Botanical District (Northern Sandplains 

Region), within the Southwest Botanical Province as defined by Beard (1990).  

Dominant plant families within the Irwin Botanical District include Proteaceae 

(Grevillea, Banksia), Myrtaceae (Eucalyptus, Melaleuca), Mimosaceae (Acacia), 

Casuarinaceae (Casuarina, Allocasuarina), Asteraceae (daisies), Chenopodiaceae (salt 

bushes) and Poaceae (grasses).   

 

The project area is located within the SWA2 – Swan Coastal Plain Subregion 



(Environment Australia 2000) and is bordered by the GS3 – Lesueur Sandplain and 

SWA1 – Dandaragan Plateau subregions. The SWA2 subregion is characterised by 

colluvial and aeolian sand, alluvial river flats and coastal limestone (Mitchell et. al. 

2001).  The subregion generally features heath and/or Tuart Woodlands on limestone, 

Banksia and Jarrah-Banksia woodlands on Quaternary marine dunes, and Marri on 

colluvial and alluvials, and includes a complex series of wetlands (Mitchell et. al. 

2001).  Expressions of ecotones remnant of the GS3 and SWA2 subregions have 

contributed to the floristic diversity within the project area.  

 

The project area is located on the borders of the Guilderton, Jurien and Bassendean 



Vegetation Systems as described by Beard (1979).  

 

Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 



 

4.


Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment  

The Guilderton System features the recent sand dunes of the coastal belt and is the 

northern extension of the Quindalup Dunes of the Swan Coastal Plain. The dunes 

consist of white sands succeeded by thickets of Acacia cyclops. In areas with frequent 

burning the vegetation is typically heath or low scrub dominated by Acacia lasiocarpa 

and Melaleuca acerosa. On flats and interdunes the vegetation climaxes to thickets of 



Allocasuarina lehmanniana and on salt flats saltbush, samphire and Melaleuca thyoides 

are dominant. Unvegetated drift sands are a feature within the Guilderton System 

(Beard 1979). 

 

The Jurien System is located within the older coastal limestone belt and is the northern 



extension of the Spearwood Dunes on the Swan Coastal Plain. The vegetation is 

typically  Banksia prionotes woodlands over tall shrubs such as Banksia sessilis and 



Calothamnus quadrifidus. Patches of Acacia spathulata heath are found on shallow 

soils, Banksia woodlands on deep white sands and stunted Eucalyptus gomphocephala 

in depressions (Beard 1979). 

 

The Bassendean System is a flat undulating plain with low ridges of bleached sand 



interspersed with swampy flats underlain by calcareous soils. On well drained soils 

Banksia woodlands are dominant whereas swampy areas give rise to heaths of a mix of 

species including Acacia lasiocarpa,  Melaleuca acerosa,  Banksia telmatiaea,  Calytrix 



aurea,  Calytrix flavescens,  Verticordia densiflora and Verticordia drummondii

Samphires and Frankenia spp. are found within salt pans whereas deeper swamps 

typically consist of woodlands of Melaleuca rhaphiophylla,  Eucalyptus rudis and 

Banksia littoralis over species such as Hypocalymma angustifoliumAcacia rostellifera

Melaleuca thyoides and Casuarina obesa (Beard 1979). 

 

The project area is located within the Minyulo and Mimegarra Suites as defined by 



Semeniuk (1994). The Minyulo Suite is located in the vicinity of Mullering Brook and 

consists of a series of sumplands, damplands and creeks within the Bassendean System. 

The creek transports sediment and flushes water from the associated floodplains and 

palusplains. The presence of an undisturbed buffer of vegetation surrounding the 

Mullering Brook enhances the biological values of this suite. 

 

The Mimegarra Suite is represented further north of the private property (Duffy). This 



suite is locally significant as it contains a number of seasonal freshwater sumplands and 

damplands within a generally water deficient area (Semeniuk 1994). The basins provide 

habitat nodes for fauna and the majority are surrounded by undisturbed vegetation 

which provide hydrological buffers. 

 

Vegetation associations related to physiognomy within the project area were described 



by Shepherd et. al. (2002). There are three vegetation associations located within the 

project area (Figure 5). These vegetation associations have over 50 percent of pre-

european extent remaining and a reasonable percentage of current extent (over 10 

percent) held within reserves (Table 1). 

 

Woodman Environmental Consulting Pty Ltd 

 

5.


Tiwest Pty Ltd 

 

Cooljarloo West Project Area 

 

 

Flora and Vegetation Assessment 



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