A landscape-scale approach to biodiversity planning

To protect nationally threatened species and ecological communities, the Victorian and Australian governments have completed a strategic assessment for Melbourne’s new growth areas and associated transport infrastructure under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.  Known as the Melbourne Strategic Assessment, this Program aims to cut environmental red tape and streamline environmental planning in Melbourne’s four key growth areas.

The outcome of the Program is greater certainty for developers and landowners, while providing increased conservation outcomes for nationally threatened species and ecological communities through landscape- scale planning and strategic protection of areas of high conservation value.

As part of this process, the four key growth areas on the peri-urban fringe of Melbourne have been subject to extensive biodiversity surveys and assessments.  These studies have been administered by the Growth Areas Authority and overseen by the Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Biosis has been engaged by the Growth Areas Authority since the Program’s inception in 2009 to provide expertise in landscape-scale biodiversity mapping and threatened species survey throughout the four growth areas.  Our work with the Growth Areas Authority has included:

  • vegetation and threatened species mapping in the growth areas, including the area of the proposed Western Grassland Reserve
  • the preparation of Biodiversity Assessment Reports for Precinct Structure Plans, including detailed vegetation mapping and surveys for threatened flora and fauna species
  • native vegetation ‘Time Stamping’ in the growth areas
  • the identification of key areas of biodiversity value in Melbourne’s growth areas
  • sub-regional surveys for the critically endangered Golden Sun Moth

Our unrivalled knowledge of Melbourne’s biodiversity, in particular our expertise in grassland ecology, has greatly contributed to the success of the Program and was pivotal in assisting the Growth Areas Authority in the development of methods and benchmarks for biodiversity assessments in the revised growth areas.

Biosis knows where you stand.