Opr rail Development Public Environmental Review



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Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
surface hydrology management measures are 
effective. 
  Fire Management Plan implemented to limit 
the risk of inadvertent fire ignition and define 
fire fighting capability requirements. 
  All proposed disturbance areas located outside 
of the Study Area to be surveyed for all 
potential TEC, PEC, DRF and Priority Species 
to the same level as the remainder of the 
Study Area. 
  All final proposed disturbance areas will be 
subject to detailed targeted surveys for DRF 
and the following Priority Flora species: 
  Chamelaucium sp. Yalgoo (P1) 
  Eremophila sp. Tallering (P1) 
  Goodenia lyrata (P1) 
  Gunniopsis divisa (P1)  
  Petrophile vana (P1) 
  Ptilotus tetrandrus (P1) 
  Eremophila arachnoids subsp
Arachnoids (P3) 
  Homalocalyx echinulatus (P3) 
  Tecticornia cymbiformis (P3) 
  Thryptomene sp. Moresby Range (P3) 
  Thryptomene sp. Wandana (P3) 
 
  Significant disturbance (>5% of remaining 
species) of Priority flora species will be 
avoided throughout the design and 
construction phases where practicable.  Where 
significant disturbance is unavoidable OPR will 
liaise with DEC prior to disturbance. 
  Implementation of measures to offset residual 
environmental loss.  Such measures may 
include support of one or more of: the Moresby 
Range Regional Strategy, acquisition of native 
vegetation areas for conservation 
management, support for further survey and 
scientific investigation.  Final offset measures 
will be determined in consultation with EPA 
and DEC. 

 
OPR Rail Development 
 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
Fauna Maintain 
the 
abundance, 
biodiversity, 
geographic distribution 
and productivity of 
fauna at species and 
ecosystem levels 
through the avoidance 
of adverse impacts 
and improvement of 
knowledge. 
Continuous fauna habitat with low 
levels of disturbance throughout the 
pastoral area. 
Highly fragmented fauna habitat 
associated with remnant native 
vegetation throughout the freehold 
area. 
A total of 21 conservation significant 
fauna species have been identified as 
occurring or likely to occur within the 
Study Area, including 5 EPBC listed 
species. 
Intensive survey work arranged by OPR 
on the Western Spiny-tailed Skink 
(Black form) has resulted in an increase 
of around 50% in the known 
populations and extended the known 
range. 
 
2 confirmed and 4-6 possible SRE 
species occur within Study Area. 
 
Stygofauna and Troglofauna expected 
to be found throughout the Study Area. 
Fauna Habitat: 
  The most significant potential impact identified 
is the direct impact of clearing of habitat for 
construction of the Rail Corridor.  Most of the 
disturbance of native vegetation is in the 
pastoral area. 
  Indirect impacts may also occur on habitat 
within and immediately adjacent to the Rail 
Corridor and ancillary facilities from 
interference with local drainage patterns. 
Significant Fauna 
Of the 21 species identified, survey and 
assessment work has found that only 7 may 
potentially be impacted by the Proposal. 

 Malleefowl 

  Crested Bellbird (southern subspecies) 

  Rufous Fieldwren (western subspecies) 

  Western Spiny-tailed Skink (Black form) 

  Gilled Slender Blue-tongue  

  Yuna Broad-blazed slider  

  Lerista eupoda 
  Incidental fauna impacts via vehicle strike. 
  Potential increase in feral animal activity. 
  Indirect impacts through possible increases in 
the frequency of fire. 
  Potential indirect impacts via noise, light spill 
and vibration. 
  Potential impacts on subterranean fauna via 
groundwater drawdown associated with water 
supply. 
  Potential impacts on SRE through habitat 
removal. 
  Turkeys nest dams will be fenced to restrict 
access by fauna. 
  Minimise the length of open trench at any one 
time. 
  Inspect trenches and excavations regularly 
and remove any trapped animals promptly. 
  No domestic animals or pets will be permitted 
on site. 
  Feral animal control strategies will be 
developed and implemented consistent with 
regional and local feral animal control 
initiatives. 
  All disturbance areas have or will be surveyed 
for Priority Fauna and EPBC protected species 
prior to disturbance. 
  Where practicable, rocky outcrops and large 
trees will be left in situ for fauna habitat. 
  With the exception of the Rail Corridor, no 
disturbance will be permitted to occur within a 
200 m buffer of known Egernia stokesii badia 
habitat.  If the Rail Corridor must pass through 
these areas, a 50-60m buffer will be 
maintained between the rail line and specific 
habitat used for shelter (rock outcrops), and 
the construction disturbance width will be 
limited to an average of 100 m.  Additional 
culverts will be installed in these areas as 
fauna underpasses. 
 Relocation of Egernia stokesii badia 
individuals if found within the disturbance 
envelope. 
  Any handling of Egernia stokesii badia will be 
undertaken by a suitably experienced reptile 
handler. 
  No active Malleefowl nests will be disturbed.  
Where a nest is discovered that cannot be 
avoided the nest will be disturbed only once all 
Malleefowl adults and chicks have left the 
nest. If this is not possible OPR will apply for 
permission to disturb. 
  Borrow pits or turkeys nests in the Weld Range 
area will be avoided where practicable, and 
Rail Corridor will be restricted to an average 
100 m in width. 
  Exclude livestock from construction areas. 
  Consult with relevant agencies regarding the 
rail crossing of the State Barrier Fence 
Fauna Habitat 
  Approximately 6000 ha of 
potential fauna habitat will 
be cleared. 
  Majority of fauna habitat 
within the Proposal Area is 
well represented 
throughout the surrounding 
region through the pastoral 
area. 
  Fauna habitat is largely 
avoided in the freehold 
area. 
Significant Vertebrate 
Fauna: 
  Of the 7 species potentially 
impacted, the only species 
with known direct impacts 
to potential habitat is the 
Spiny-tailed Skink (Black 
form).  The impact is 
expected to be restricted to 
the potential habitat 
surrounding 2 known 
populations out of more 
than 50 known populations 
hence is not considered a 
significant threat to the 
species. 
  Impacts on the remaining 
species are expected to be 
negligible due to habitat 
avoidance, broad 
distribution or minimal 
impact to defined habitat 
(e.g. where habitat is 
riparian, impacts are 
generally narrow and 
perpendicular to the 
habitat). 
Significant Invertebrate 
Fauna: 
  The narrow linear nature of 
the Proposal disturbance is 
unlikely to cause a 
significant impact on SREs. 
  Short term nature of peak 
water demand for 
construction, abundance of 
suitable habitat and 

 
OPR Rail Development 
 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
adaptation to dynamic 
water table conditions 
means no significant impact 
on stygofauna expected. 
  Limited potential to impact 
on troglofauna due to the 
narrow linear footprint of 
the Proposal and 
widespread habitat. 
Fauna - General 
  There will be some 
occasional direct loss of 
fauna due to vehicle strike. 
  There may be some 
localised movement of 
fauna away from the rail 
construction and 
operational corridor due to 
increased presence of 
people and machinery and 
the resulting increase in 
ambient noise and 
vibration. 
  Control measures for feral 
animals, fire, dam access, 
trenches, incident reporting 
and workforce education 
are expected to limit fauna 
impacts to negligible. 
Conservation 
estates 
Protect the 
environmental values 
of areas identified as 
having significant 
environmental 
attributes. 
 
Conservation reserves in the freehold 
area tend to be small and fragmented.  
There is a proposal to create a larger 
reserve based around the values of the 
Moresby Range. 
There are a number of other small 
conservation reserves near to the 
Proposal Area throughout the freehold 
area. 
The Proposal crosses one reserve, 
Reserve 16200 which is vested in the 
Minister for Water Resources for the 
purposes of water supply and 
conservation of flora and fauna, 
In the pastoral area there are three 
areas proposed for conservation 
reservation: 
 Former 
Woolgorong 
Pastoral 
Lease 
  Former Twin Peaks Pastoral Lease 
  Reduction in the size of Conservation estate. 
  Clearing of native vegetation and potential 
fauna habitat in Conservation Estate. 
  Clearing of native vegetation and potential 
fauna habitat in proposed conservation estate 
(recently acquired pastoral leases) in the 
pastoral area. 
  Possible indirect impacts on Conservation 
Estate associated with introduction of weeds, 
disturbance of local drainage, increased risk 
of fire, introduction of feral animals. 
 
  Conservation reserves or proposed 
conservation reserves have now been 
excluded from the Proposal Area where 
feasible (the Proposal Area boundaries have 
been altered to avoid these areas).  A 
considerable amount of planning and 
consultation used to define the Proposal Area 
to avoid and minimise interaction with 
conservation estate and proposed 
conservation estate.   
  The boundaries of these reserves are 
therefore at, or near to, the boundary of the 
Proposal Area.  Where disturbance is 
unavoidable, the width of the Rail Corridor and 
the size and location of borrow areas will 
ensure that the area of disturbance within 
proposed reserves will be minimised.  
  Temporary construction infrastructure such as 
borrow areas, construction access and water 
supply will be minimised within proposed 
conservation reserves.  Accommodation 
  Planning has avoided 
direct impact on existing 
conservation reserves with 
the exception of 14.6% of 
Reserve 16200 (2.5 ha) to 
enable separation of rail 
and road traffic for safety 
reasons. 
  No impact to the Moresby 
Range Nature Reserve 
  Planning has minimised 
the Intersection of the 
Proposal with three 
proposed conservation 
reserves.  Expected 
maximum disturbance: 
o 0.2% 
of 
Woolgorong 
Ex-Pastoral Station 

1.3% of Twin Peaks 
Ex-Pastoral Station 

0.2% of Narloo Ex-

 
OPR Rail Development 
 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
  Former Narloo Pastoral Lease. 
  
camps and ballast quarries will not be located 
within proposed reserves. 
  Strict weed management procedures including 
vehicle hygiene, detailed weed surveys (pre 
and post construction) and weed control 
measures to be implemented in proposed 
nature conservation reserves. 
  Preparation and implementation of 
construction rehabilitation management plans 
in consultation with landholders. 
  Emergency Management Plan implemented to 
limit the risk of inadvertent fire ignition and 
define fire fighting capability requirements. 
  Other measures identified in Vegetation and 
Flora, and Fauna sections of this PER, 
implemented as appropriate within proposed 
conservation reserves. 
Pastoral Station. 
  Potential indirect impacts 
on Conservation Estate and 
Proposed Conservation 
Estate managed by the 
development and 
implementation of specific 
management plans to 
control weeds, feral 
animals, drainage and fire. 
Surface 
Hydrology 
Maintain the quantity 
and quality of surface 
water so that existing 
and potential 
environmental values, 
including ecosystem 
function, are protected. 
To maintain the 
integrity, ecological 
functions and 
environmental values 
of wetlands. 
  Study Area lies within the 
catchments of the Chapman, 
Greenough and Murchison Rivers.   
  Most creeks and rivers within the 
Study Area are episodic and major 
flows are the result of cyclone and 
major storm events.  
  The Study Area does not contain 
any wetlands of significance. 
  The Study Area intersects one RIWI 
Act Surface Water Management 
Area; the Greenough River and 
Tributaries. 
  The most significant surface water 
features in the Study Area are the 
Greenough River and tributaries and 
sheetflow in areas of sheetflow 
dependant vegetation. 
  Changes to surface water flow caused by 
altered drainage conditions. 
  Impacts on stream vegetation due to altered 
stream flow conditions. 
  Impacts on sheetflow dependent vegetation 
due to altered sheet flow conditions. 
  Approximately 9 bridges over waterways and 
a number of culverts. 
  Pooling of water during significant rainfall 
events. 
  Increases in sediment loads particularly 
during construction. 
  Contamination of surface water from 
hydrocarbon or other spills. 
  Increased stream bed or bank erosion near 
drainage crossings. 
  Impacts on farm and pastoral productivity due 
to altered drainage conditions. 
  Prepare and implement a Surface Water 
Management Plan (SWMP). 
  Beds and Banks permits are to be obtained 
prior to construction activities. 
  Culverts and bridges will ensure downstream 
hydraulic capacity is maintained.   
  Suitable drainage mechanisms (such as 
environmental culverts) will be installed in 
areas of sheetflow dependant vegetation and 
at defined low points. 
  Design and install culverts, bridges or water 
crossings at drainage crossings, and at those 
areas of vegetation identified as surface water 
dependent, according to the following 
commitments: 

minimise interference to overland flow, 
maintain sheet flow and reduce shadow 
effects 

reduce pooling alongside the rail  

include appropriate erosion protection 

Where infrastructure may cause 
drainage to flow parallel to the rail 
formation, place culverts at regular 
intervals together with small interceptor 
banks to direct runoff and reduce 
ponding 

Where practicable, construct bridges 
and major crossings at right angles to 
major drainage channels 

Monitoring of selected waterways to 
occur to ensure surface water flows are 
maintained. 
  No significant impacts on 
surface hydrology are 
expected as bridge and 
culverts will be designed to 
maintain surface water 
flows. 
 Minor, localised impacts 
may occur in some areas 
including drainage shadow 
effects in sheetflow areas, 
and localised ponding 
along drainage lines but will 
be minimised by the use of 
environmental culverts.   
  Significant rainfall events 
during construction may 
cause short-term localised 
erosion but risks will be 
minimised as construction 
sediment controls will be 
established as soon as 
practicable.  Within regional 
context erosion or 
subsequent impacts not 
expected to be significant. 
  Minimal risk of 
contamination of surface 
water as standard 
hydrocarbon and waste 
management controls are 
implemented. 
  Impacts on farm and 
pastoral productivity are not 

 
OPR Rail Development 
 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
  Bridges will generally be designed 
perpendicular to the watercourse to reduce the 
likelihood of stream diversions.  Culverts will 
be in the same direction as drainage lines; 
therefore likelihood of diversion is reduced. 
  All waterway crossings will be implemented in 
accordance with conditions set by DoW.  
These requirements will ensure that surface 
water hydrology is not significantly impacted 
  Further detailed investigations to refine 
understanding of areas of sheetflow dependant 
vegetation that may be impacted.  A hydrology 
assessment will be performed for these areas 
to determine more detailed drainage measures 
to maintain sheetflow and restrict drainage 
shadows to within the area originally disturbed 
by the construction footprint.   
  Detailed consultation with landholders to assist 
in the design of rail and road drainage design, 
land access arrangements and land 
management measures. 
  Standard controls for hydrocarbon and waste 
management to be implemented to minimise 
the risk of spills and contamination. 
expected to be significant 
with the implementation of 
detailed surface water 
management measures. 
Groundwater  
Maintain the quantity 
and quality of 
groundwater so that 
existing and potential 
environmental values. 
Including ecosystem 
function, are protected. 
  Low level use of shallow aquifers 
with no significant groundwater 
users or groundwater dependent 
vegetation identified within the Study 
Area. 
  The Study Area intersects two RIWI 
Act Groundwater Management 
Areas; the Gascoyne and East 
Murchison.  
  The Proposal does not intersect any 
Public Drinking Water and Supply 
areas. 
  Potential drawdown on aquifers from up to 
200 bores required for construction, with 
some being retained during operation 
  Drawdown impacts could include impacts on 
groundwater dependent vegetation, 
stygofauna and other groundwater users. 
  Possible impacts on pastoral water supply  
  Possible impact on groundwater quality or 
from hydrocarbon or other spillage or 
contamination. 
  Continue to investigate potential water sources 
for the Proposal in consultation with DoW and 
DEC. 
  All groundwater sources will be investigated 
and licensed under the RIWI Act. 
  Groundwater bore construction and 
abstraction will be licensed under the RIWI Act 
and managed according to licence conditions 
and associated management measures which 
will include monitoring and reporting. 
  Specific investigations will determine 
appropriate trigger levels for contingency 
actions.  Associated monitoring will be 
conducted to compare results against these 
trigger levels. 
  Bores no longer required will be rehabilitated 
in accordance with DoW guidelines. 
  Ongoing consultation with landholders to 
include water supply aspects.  Any impacts on 
pastoral water supply due to the Proposal will 
be rectified by OPR. 
  The majority of 
groundwater abstraction 
will be short-term and/or 
relatively small volumes 
over a number of 
locations, which will 
significantly reduce the 
likelihood of significant 
impact. 
  Groundwater use will be 
licensed under the RIWI 
Act which will ensure 
sustainable use. 
 Risks of groundwater 
contamination minimised 
by the implementation of 
standard controls for 
hydrocarbon storage. 
  Impacts on pastoral water 
supply not considered 
likely. 
POLLUTION 
Noise, Vibration 
and Light Spill 
To protect the amenity 
of nearby residents 
from noise impacts 
  Background noise levels consistent 
with rural setting - measured noise 
Construction 
  Blasting may be necessary in isolated 
  The preferred Rail Corridor has been selected 
to minimise the number of receptors impacted 
and the degree of impact has been minimised 
  Ambient noise levels will 
increase during both 
construction and 

 
OPR Rail Development 
 
Public Environmental Review 
 
 
 
Environmental 
Factor 
EPA Objective 
Existing Environment 
Potential Impacts 
Environmental Management 
Predicted Outcome 
resulting from activities 
associated with the 
Proposal by ensuring 
that noise levels meet 
statutory requirements 
and acceptable 
standards. 
To avoid or manage 
potential impacts from 
light overspill and 
comply with 
acceptable standards. 
levels from 4 locations varied from 
LA90 23 - 26 dB at night, while the 
day time levels ranged from LA90 27 
- 30 dB. 
  Vibration currently restricted to minor 
and low level vibrations from rural 
activities. 
  Few light sources, particularly in the 
eastern part of the Study Area.  Light 
sources generally restricted to farm 
houses, road traffic and occasional 
farming activities at night. 
locations where continuous rock is 
encountered leading to noise and vibration. 
  Construction noise will be short term (weeks-
months) as the construction face will 
continuously advance.   
  Activities such as compaction during 
construction may cause vibration but the 
proximity to residences means that this is 
unlikely to be felt and is expected to be short 
term. 
  Temporary lighting during construction 
activities. 
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