Midwest Corporation Limited Koolanooka (M70/1012)and Blue Hills



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Midwest Corporation Limited

Koolanooka (M70/1012)and

Blue Hills (M59/596

)

Hydrological Drilling Programme

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora 

Survey

1025 Wellington Street WEST PERTH WA 6005 

phone: 9322 1944  



fax: 9322 1599  

ACN 088 821 425  



ABN 63 088 821 425   

www.ecologia.com.au

2

20



th

August 2008

Version 

2

 

 

 



 

 

Midwest Corporation Limited 



Koolanooka (M70/1012) and 

Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

Document Status 



Approved for Issue 

Rev 

No. 

Author Reviewer/s 

Date 

Name Distributed 

To 

Date 

S. Hitchcock 



C. Cox 

15 Aug 08 

C. Cox 

D. Broomfield, 



Midwest 

18 Aug 08 

S. Hitchcock & 



C. Cox 

C. Cox 


20 Aug 08 

C. Cox 


D. Broomfield, 

Midwest 


20 Aug 08 

 

 



 

 

 



 

 

 



©  ecologia  Environment (2008).  Reproduction of this report in whole or in part by electronic, 

mechanical or chemical means including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and 

retrieval system, in any language, is strictly prohibited without the express approval of ecologia 

Environment and/or Midwest Corporation Limited. 

 

Restrictions on Use 

 

This report has been prepared specifically for Midwest Corporation Limited.  Neither the report nor 



its contents may be referred to or quoted in any statement, study, report, application, prospectus, loan, 

or other agreement document, without the express approval of ecologia Environment and/or Midwest 

Corporation Limited. 

 

ecologia Environment 

1025 Wellington Street 

WEST PERTH  WA  6005 

Phone   (08) 9322 1944 

Fax  

(08) 9322 1599 



admin@ecologia.com.au

 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

 Hydrological 

Drilling 

Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

ii



Table of Contents 

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

 

1.0

 

INTRODUCTION....................................................................................................... 4

 

1.1



 

BACKGROUND 4

 

1.2


 

LOCATION 4

 

2.0

 

METHODOLOGY ...................................................................................................... 6

 

2.1


 

DECLARED RARE AND PRIORITY FLORA SURVEY 

6

 

2.2



 

DECLARED RARE AND PRIORITY FLORA SURVEY 

6

 

3.0



 

VEGETATION ........................................................................................................... 9

 

3.1



 

REGIONAL VEGETATION 

9

 

3.2



 

VEGETATION OF THE GENERAL AREA 

10

 

3.3



 

VEGETATION UNITS OF THE PROJECT AREA 

12

 

4.0



 

FLORA, INTRODUCED SPECIES AND THREATENED ECOSYSTEMS ............. 16

 

4.1



 

FLORA OF CONSERVATION SIGNIFICANCE 

16

 

4.1.1



 

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999................ 16

 

4.1.2


 

Wildlife Conservation Act 1950.................................................................... 17

 

4.1.3


 

Priority and conservation significant flora taxa ............................................ 17

 

4.1.4


 

Conservation significant flora recorded previously within the survey area or in 

adjacent areas ........................................................................................................ 18

 

4.1.5



 

Priority Flora taxa recorded by ecologia during the current survey ............. 20

 

Koolanooka ............................................................................................................. 20



 

4.1.6


 

Flora having potential conservation significance ......................................... 22

 

4.2


 

STATE AND NATIONALLY RECOGNISED THREATENED ECOSYSTEMS 

25

 

4.3



 

INTRODUCED SPECIES WITHIN THE CURRENT SURVEY AREA 

25

 

5.0



 

CONSERVATION SIGNIFICANCE......................................................................... 27

 

5.1



 

DECLARED RARE FLORA 

27

 

5.2



 

PRIORITY FLORA 

27

 

5.3



 

FLORA OF POTENTIAL CONSERVATION SIGNIFICANCE 

27

 

5.4



 

THREATENED ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITY 

28

 

6.0



 

CLEARING PRINCIPLES AND THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION ACT, 1986

 ................................................................................................................................ 29

 

7.0

 

RECOMMENDATIONS ........................................................................................... 34

 

8.0

 

REFERENCES........................................................................................................ 36

 

Appendix A: Proposed Drill Pad and Track Co-ordinates............................................. 38

 

Appendix B: Complete Species List for the Areas Surveyed ....................................... 41

 

Appendix C: Explanation of Conservation Codes ......................................................... 44

 

Appendix D: Conservation Significant Flora Potentially Occurring in the Survey Areas

 ................................................................................................................................ 49

 

Appendix E: Conservation Significant Flora Recorded During the Current Survey... 52

 

 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

 Hydrological 

Drilling 

Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

iii



Figures 

Figure 1.1: Regional location of project areas.........................................................................5

 

Figure 2.1: Areas surveyed for DRF and Priority Flora at Koolanooka (Tenement No. 



M70/1012) .......................................................................................................................7

 

Figure 2.2: Areas surveyed for DRF and Priority Flora at Blue Hills (Tenement No. M59/596)



........................................................................................................................................8

 

Figure 4.1: Location of Priority Flora at Koolanooka. ............................................................23



 

Figure 4.2: Locations of Priority Flora and Species of Interest Recorded at Blue Hills. ........24

 

Figure 4.3: TEC boundary in relation to the Koolanooka survey area ..................................26



 

 

Plates 

Plate 4.1: Baeckea sp. Perenjori (J.W. Green 1516) (P2) ....................................................20

 

Plate 4.2: Micromyrtus trudgenii (P3)....................................................................................21



 

 

Tables 

Table 3.1:  Vegetation units encountered at Koolanooka during the survey.........................12

 

Table 3.2: Vegetation units encountered at Blue Hills during the survey..............................14



 

Table 6.1:  Clearing permit requirements and the Koolanooka survey area. ........................29

 

Table 6.2:  Clearing permit requirements and the Blue Hills survey area. ............................32



 

Table A.1:  Proposed drill pad locations at Koolanooka and Blue Hills as supplied by 

Midwest. ........................................................................................................................39

 

Table A.2:  Proposed access track locations at Koolanooka as supplied by Midwest. .........39



 

Table A.3:  Proposed access track locations at Blue Hills as supplied by Midwest. .............40

 

Table D.1:  Flora of conservation significance having the potential to occur within the 



Koolanooka Project Area...............................................................................................50

 

Table D.2:  Flora of conservation significance having the potential to occur within the Blue 



Hills Project Area...........................................................................................................51

 

Table E.1: Locations of Priority Flora at the Koolanooka and Blue Hills survey areas. ........53



 

Table E.2: Locations of species of interest at the Koolanooka and Blue Hills survey areas .53

 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

 Hydrological 

Drilling 

Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

1



EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 

Midwest Corporation Limited (Midwest) proposes to carry out a reverse cycle drilling 

programme for groundwater exploration at Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills 

(M59/596).  Midwest commissioned ecologia Environment Pty Ltd (ecologia) to carry out a 

survey for conservation significant flora species at three proposed drill pads at Koolanooka 

and Blue Hills (six pads in total) and approximately 700 m of associated tracks leading to 

these areas.. 

A floristic survey targeting Declared Rare and Priority Flora was undertaken on the 10

th

 and 


11

th

 of July 2008.  Co-ordinates for, and a map showing, the proposed drill pads and access 



tracks to be surveyed were supplied by Midwest.  A 30 m by 30 m quadrat was grid searched 

at each proposed drill pad location.  Vegetation surrounding this area was also checked for 

conservation significant taxa, to allow for leeway in the final placement of drill pads.  

Approximately 350 m of access tracks at Koolanooka and approximately 350 m at Blue Hills 

were also surveyed. 

Forty three taxa from 23 families and 31 genera were recorded during the survey at 

Koolanooka.  Of these taxa, one was identified to family level only and one to genus level 

only.  Thirty three taxa from 21 families, and 27 genera were recorded during the survey at 

Blue Hills.  No weed species were recorded at either Koolanooka or Blue Hills. 

Flora species are protected at a National level under the Commonwealth Environment 



Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).  Four flora species 

protected by the EPBC Act are known from the Koolanooka area; Eremophila viscida, 

(Endangered),  Frankenia conferta (Endangered),  Tecticornia bulbosa (Vulnerable) and 

Eucalyptus synandra (Vulnerable).  One flora species protected by the EPBC Act is known 

from the Blue Hills area; Eremophila viscida (Endangered). 

None of these taxa were recorded during the current survey 

In Western Australia conservation significance is determined under the Wildlife Conservation 



Act 1950 and under this Act flora taxa of conservation significance are protected.  Declared 

Rare Flora (DRF) is currently protected under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation 



(Rare Flora) Notice 2008 of the above Act.  This notice lists flora taxa that are extant and 

considered likely to become extinct or rare.  These taxa are legally protected and removal or 

impact to their surroundings cannot be conducted without ministerial approval obtained 

specifically on each occasion for each population. 

Five DRF species are known from the vicinity of the Koolanooka project area; 

Eremophila 

nivea

 (Rare), Eremophila rostrata subsp. trifida (Rare), Eremophila viscida (Rare), 



Eucalyptus synandra (Rare) and Tecticornia bulbosa (syn. Halosarcia bulbosa) (Rare).  Two 

DRF taxa, Eucalyptus synandra (Rare) and Acacia woodmaniorum (Rare)

 

have been 



recorded in the vicinity of Blue Hills. 

None of these taxa were recorded during the current survey 

In addition to the DRF taxa, the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) 

maintains a list of Priority Flora, which may be rare or threatened but for which there are 

insufficient survey data to accurately determine their status, or are regarded as rare but not 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

 Hydrological 

Drilling 

Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

2



currently threatened.  A priority flora taxon is assigned to one of four priority categories – P1 

to P4 in order of rarity and level of threat.  Five hundred and 33 priority taxa are currently 

listed as occurring in the Avon Wheatbelt Bioregion and 89 in the Yalgoo Bioregion. 

One Priority Two taxon was recorded during the Koolanooka survey, Baeckea sp. Perenjori 

(J.W. Green 1516), and one Priority three taxon during the Blue Hills survey, Micromyrtus 

trudgenii. 

One flora taxon of potential conservation significance was recorded during the survey.  The 

collection of Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R. Meissner & Y. Carusso) marks a range extension of 

approximately 75 km to the north-west of its nearest named location at Mount Gibson.  This 

taxon requires further taxonomic study as it is only known from two collections at the 

Western Australian Herbarium.  Baeckea sp. Mt Gibson (R. Meissner & Y. Carusso) is likely 

to be upgraded to a Priority Flora taxon in the near future. 

The Western Australian Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) maintains a 

list of threatened ecological communities (TECs) that are Presumed Totally Destroyed, 

Critically Endangered, Endangered or Vulnerable.  The Koolanooka survey area is located 

within the state-listed Koolanooka Hills System TEC, which is listed as Vulnerable 

Five plant assemblages of the Koolanooka Hills System are listed as TECs by the 

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC).  Beecham (2001) lists these TECs as:  

1.

 

Allocasuarina campestris shrub over red loam on hill slopes;  

2.

 

shrubs (such as Acacia spp.) and emergent mallees on shallow red loam over 

massive ironstone on steep rocky slopes;  

3.

 

Eucalyptus ebbanoensis subsp.  ebbanoensis  mallee and Acacia  spp. scrub with 

scattered Allocasuarina huegeliana (cf. Allocasuarina acutivalvis) over red loam 

and ironstone on the upper slopes and summits;  

4.

 

Eucalyptus loxophleba woodland over scrub on the footslopes; and,  

5.

 

mixed Acacia spp. scrub on granite. 

Vegetation communities associated with the Koolanooka TEC were not encountered during 

the survey at Koolanooka. 

It is recommended that Midwest implements the following strategies: 

1.

 



Impact to the two Priority taxa and the species of interest located during the survey 

should be avoided. 

2.

 

Vegetation clearing should be restricted to that which is absolutely necessary and 



raised blade procedures should be used wherever possible. 

3.

 



Avoid and go-round practices should be adopted whenever possible i.e. go around 

trees and large shrubs rather than clear in a straight line. 



Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

 Hydrological 

Drilling 

Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

3



4.

 

Previously disturbed areas should be used wherever possible and track widths should 



be minimised. 

5.

 



To avoid the introduction and spread of weed species, Midwest should adhere to 

weed control and hygiene procedures.  

 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

 



4

1.0 INTRODUCTION 

1.1 BACKGROUND 

Midwest Corporation Limited (Midwest) proposes to carry out a reverse cycle drilling 

programme for groundwater exploration at Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills 

(M59/596).  Midwest commissioned ecologia Environment Pty Ltd (ecologia) to carry out a 

survey for conservation significant flora species at three proposed drill pads at both 

Koolanooka and Blue Hills (six pads in total) and approximately 700 m of associated tracks 

leading to these areas. 

The proponents are required to identify and minimise impacts of the drilling programme to 

flora species of conservation significance, and the results of this survey are to be used to 

support a Programme of Works application (PoW) which has been submitted to the 

Department of Industry and Resources (DoIR). 

As the project area occurs adjacent to a Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) and an 

Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) the flora and vegetation report will be assessed by the 

Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) as part of the PoW process.  The DEC 

expects proponents to follow the Recommended Interim Protocol for Flora Surveys on 

Banded Ironstone Formation (BIF) of the Yilgarn Craton (DEC, 2006) and also the Botanical 

Survey Guidelines for Mining Based Impacts to Banded Ironstone Formations of the Yilgarn 

Craton (DoIR, 2006). 



1.2 LOCATION 

Koolanooka 

The Koolanooka project area is in the Shire of Morawa and lies approximately 10 km south-

east of Morawa (Figure 1.1).  The Koolanooka Hills occur in the Avon Wheatbelt subregion 

of the Southwest Botanical Province (Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia - 

IBRA).  The Avon Wheatbelt is divided into two subregions the Avon Wheatbelt 1 (AW1) 

and the Avon Wheatbelt 2 (AW2) subregions; the exploration area occurs in the AW1 

subregion (Western Australian Herbarium, 2008). 

Blue Hills 

The Blue Hills are approximately 60 km north-east of Perenjori, 90 km south of Yalgoo and 

about 75 km east of Morawa (Figure 1.1).  The Blue Hills are in the Yalgoo IBRA bioregion 

of the Eremaean Province (Western Australian Herbarium, 2008).  The Yalgoo bioregion is 

an interzone between the South-western Bioregions and the Murchison.  The Yalgoo 

bioregion has two subregions, the Edel (YAL1) and Tallering subregions (YAL2), and Blue 

Hills is in the Tallering subregion (EPA, 2006). 

 


Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

 



5

 

Figure 1.1: Regional location of project areas 



Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

 



6

2.0 METHODOLOGY 

2.1 

DECLARED RARE AND PRIORITY FLORA SURVEY 

A floristic survey targeting Declared Rare and Priority Flora was undertaken on the 10

th

 and 


11

th

 of July 2008.  Disturbance areas specified by Midwest were surveyed (Figures 2.1 and 



2.2). 

2.2 

DECLARED RARE AND PRIORITY FLORA SURVEY 

Co-ordinates for and a map showing the proposed drill pads and proposed access tracks to be 

surveyed were supplied by Midwest (Appendix A, Table A.1; Figures 2.1 and 2.2).  A 30 m 

by 30 m quadrat was grid searched at each proposed drill pad location.  Vegetation 

surrounding this area was also checked for conservation significant taxa, to allow for leeway 

in the final placement of drill pads.   

Proposed access track routes were flagged by Midwest with blue flagging tape and the co-

ordinates were supplied to ecologia before going to site (Appendix A, Table A.2).  A 10 m 

band of vegetation was surveyed along proposed access tracks leading to and between 

proposed drill pads in areas where existing access tracks could not be utilised.  Collections 

were made of all species not readily identifiable in the field, and these were identified 

subsequently using current taxonomic keys and the resources of the Western Australian 

Herbarium.  For each species recorded the following information was documented: 

 



Height; 

 



Density/Coverage; and 

 



Location. 

 

 



Midwest Corporation Limited 

Koolanooka (M70/1012) and Blue Hills (M59/596) 

Hydrological Drilling Programme 

Targeted Rare and Priority Flora Survey 

 

 



7

 


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