A total of 250 plant taxa (including varieties and subspecies) from 58 families and 171
genera were recorded from the survey area (Table 1, Appendix 5). Included in the
collection were 47 alien taxa. Species representation was greatest among the
Asteraceae (21), Papilionaceae (20), Myrtaceae (20), Proteaceae (17), Poaceae (13),
Orchidaceae (12), Anthericaceae (11), Cyperaceae (10) and Mimosaceae (10).
No. Introduced Taxa
other taxa (cultivated)
A desktop search for flora of conservation significance previously collected from the
survey locality was undertaken utilising the EPBC (Federal) and DEC (State)
databases. There was one plant taxa identified from the Federal database, Diuris
database search including one DRF, four Priority 3 flora and five Priority 4 flora (see
Onshore Environmental Consultants
State conservation significance was recorded from three locations within the survey
area; Caladenia speciosa P4 (Table 3, Figure 2). None of the plant taxa recorded
were gazetted as Declared Rare Flora pursuant to subsection (2) of section 23F of the
SCC - State Conservation Code (Wildlife Conservation Act 1999) and DEC (2007)
FCC – Federal Conservation Code (EPBC Act 1999)
Raw data from the fourteen sites assessed are presented as Appendix 6.
Vegetation within the survey area consists of wetlands in the far west, a thin strip of
‘sandy flats’ that support Corymbia calophylla, Banksia grandis and Banksia
(supporting tuart). There are two vegetation associations on the ‘sandy flat’, partly
due to prior tree clearing and disturbance from the old Rifle Range which has
artificially created an open heathland. The Tuart Woodland complexes have been
separated into 'Tuart over mixed woodlands' and 'Tuart over mixed low forest
dominated by peppie', which mainly occurs in deep dune swales in the far south and
far north of the survey area. On the east side of the dune system there is a localised
area of hill slope vegetation supporting mixed low woodland, grading into the
sandplains complex (jarrah-banksia).
Sites 2, 5, 6, 8 & 9
Very Open Low Grass over Daucus glochidiatus, *Ursinia anthemoides, *Hypochaeris glabra,
Sites 7 & 14
Site 3, 4 & 10
Low Woodland A over Corymbia calophylla, Eucalyptus marginata ssp. marginata, Banksia attenuata,
A/B over Melaleuca thymoides, Macrozamia riedlei, Xanthorrhoea gracilis, Daviesia divaricata,
Open Dwarf Scrub C over Hibbertia hypericoides, Stirlingia latifolia, Bossiaea eriocarpa Low Heath D
over Lepidosperma squamatum, Orthrosanthus laxus Very Open Low Sedges over *Briza maxima Open
Low Grass over Daucus glochidiatus, *Ursinia anthemoides, *Romulea rosea Very Open Herbs
Releves O13 & R17
Low Scrub A over Melaleuca thymoides, Macrozamia riedlei Open Low Scrub B over Hibbertia
over Melaleuca incana ssp. incana Open Scrub over Melaleuca thymoides, Melaleuca incana ssp. incana,
Dwarf Scrub C over Hibbertia hypericoides, Dasypogon bromeliifolius, Stirlingia latifolia Low Heath D
over Daucus glochidiatus, *Hypochaeris glabra, *Ursinia anthemoides Very Open Herbs
Sites 11 & 12
Releve R16 & CAL2
Vegetation condition over the larger survey area was rated as ‘Good’ to ‘Very Good’,
amongst otherwise intact native vegetation (Figure 3). ‘Degraded’ vegetation was
primarily restricted to localised areas of ground disturbance that require minor
management inputs to remedy.
Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) occurs predominantly on the near coastal
Quindalup and Spearwood Dunes over a 400 kilometre range from the Sabina River
near Ludlow in the south to Jurien Bay in the north (Keighery et al. 2002). In recent
years the need to conserve tuart woodlands has been triggered by a growing
The physical extent of tuart dominated communities on the Swan Coastal Plain
of the State’s population (Hopkins et al. 2001);
For many areas of retained tuart woodland, secondary impacts including grazing,
harvesting have reduced vegetation condition, and hence the conservation value
of retained tuart stands; and
severe foliage and crown dieback since 1990 with no confirmed causal agent yet
While tuart itself is not considered threatened, some of the vegetation communities
supporting tuart are under-represented in conservation reserves, or not adequately
protected on private lands (Government of Western Australia 2002). The
conservation status of tuart communities described at the ECU South West Campus is
reviewed below with respect to three separate references.
Fine-scale mapping of the present-day extent of tuart, canopy density and
understorey condition has been completed using aerial photo interpretation, and
results are documented in ‘An Atlas of Tuart Woodlands of the Swan Coastal Plain’
(Government of Western Australia 2003). Consideration of the ECU South West
Campus site confirms only a small proportion of tuart present within the southern
limit of the current survey area has been mapped as supporting ‘low visible
disturbance understorey’. Areas supporting existing infrastructure or open canopy
were inferred to have reduced understorey condition.
The conservation status of remnant tuart woodland at the ECU South West Campus
site was further investigated with reference to the publication ‘Tools for identifying
indicative high conservation tuart woodlands’ (Ecoscape 2004). Within this
document, tuart occurrence and low disturbance understorey condition has been
intersected with land categories, soil systems and rainfall zones to provide
information on the size and location of areas of ‘indicative high conservation’ tuart
woodlands (Ecoscape 2004). In summary, is was found that tuart complexes
occurring on uncommon soil systems and rainfall zones were more likely to have
unique vegetation communities, and were therefore ranked as ‘indicative high
conservation’ tuart woodlands.
Primary criteria considered when determining conservation status included:
The presence of low visible disturbance understorey; and
Size of the tuart remnant.
Representation on uncommon soil types; and
Representation in uncommon rainfall zones.
supports low visible disturbance understorey, as confirmed by field vegetation
condition assessments (condition assessed as ‘good’ or ‘very good’). The total area
of remnant tuart woodland within the survey area approximated 25 ha, with the
major intact block situated in the southern half. Existing infrastructure in the
northern half of the survey area has directly reduced the total area of tuart, with
secondary impacts reducing vegetation condition of dissected remnant vegetation
(particularly with respect to the understorey component). These areas have not
been mapped as part of the ‘Tuart Atlas’.
In respect to secondary criteria, the entire survey area occurs within the most
common soil system (Spearwood) and within the most common rainfall zone (800-900
mm). The remnant must satisfy both primary criteria and at least one secondary
criterion to be rated as Priority one ‘indicative high conservation’ tuart woodlands.
The survey area is therefore at best rated as Priority two ‘indicative high
Consideration for further prioritisation can be made on the basis of (i) presence of
threatened ecological communities (TEC’s) and/or (ii) presence of threatened flora
and fauna. There are no TEC’s recorded within the survey area, and rare flora was
restricted to the Priority 4 flora Caladenia speciosa, which has been well collected in
the surrounding locality.
Gibson et al. (1994) include vegetation of the survey area in Community type 21a
‘Central Banksia attenuata – Eucalyptus marginata woodlands’, which is described as
sometimes supporting Eucalyptus gomphocephala as the dominant or codominant.
The complex occurs on both the Bassendean Dunes and the Spearwood system across
the entire extent of the southern Swan Coastal Plain, and is determined by Gibson et
The ECU South West Campus is currently zoned ‘Educational’ with a sub zoning of
‘Tertiary Education’. Approximately 12 ha of the 46 ha site has already been
developed with existing campus facilities. Growth of the Campus in future years will
require expansion of existing facilities, and hence the requirement to clear
additional areas of native vegetation. A number of management considerations
relating to future expansion at the site are discussed below.
4.4.1 Protection of Rare Flora and Fauna
The Priority 4 flora Caladenia speciosa has been recorded at three locations within
the survey area. Priority 4 is the lowest level of conservation significance. Where
practicable, future development at the site should occur outside of the current
identified range for Caladenia speciosa. Alternatively, translocation of the orchid
could be implemented to reestablish plants at alternative locations outside of
planned development footprint, in situations where the current location is impacted.
Remnant vegetation at the ECU South West Campus site provides connectivity
between adjacent blocks of native vegetation at Hay Park (west side of SW Highway)
and Manea Park (east side of College Grove). This link is important not only locally,
but also on a regional scale, as it contributes to a larger east west alignment of
remnant vegetation that stretches for over 7 km from the ocean to the Preston River.
Future planning consideration should be given to identifying a retained corridor of
vegetation along the southern boundary of the Campus, or alternatively, ensure that
the scale of future development does not break vegetation connectivity within this
zone. An important consideration in this process will be the capacity of vegetation
to survive threatening processes on the basis of the area retained, and associated
requirement for active management to maintain ecological values.