Remnants of grassy ecosystems are still disappearing. Some incidents are a result of poor practices or not stopping to think of the implications of certain actions or willful destruction. In other cases lack of weed control results in native species being swamped. One of the aims of this website is to assist the wider community understand and value of the areas that are left and prevent loss of more habitat which is needed for threatened native species.
There is a range of State and Commonwealth legislation that protects grasslands,wetlands and grassy woodlands and other plant and animal communities and the implications of damaging native vegetation with out a permit may cost a contractor, developer, supervisor and/or a landholder a lot of time and money.
Over the last few years landholders, local government, road and rail authorities, contractors and other organisations have received financial penalties for the disregarding legislation. In many cases it is not only the penalty but the requirement to pay for an ecological assessment and the reinstatement of the area. As time proceeds, statements such as “I didn’t know”, “everyone else is doing it” or “it is my property and I will do what I want” won’t lessen the implications of ignoring the legislation.
How do I find out what is on the site?
Ask around, there is usually a landcare group in an area that includes people with a wealth of knowledge about the local area and who access to other experts and resources. It may be in your interest to employ a qualified ecological consultant. There will be grassland experts at the Catchment Management Authority.
There is mapping available on the website of the Department of Environment Land Water and Planning, which show areas likely to contain native vegetation.
Many local governments employ environment officers who are well aware of the vegetation types and the legislation. Remember if you are thinking of buying a property you may need to employ an ecological consultant to really find out what is on the property and if will require special management techniques.
What legislation do I need to consider? This list is just a guide and there may be other legislation that you need to consider.
When undertaking new work you need to ask yourself if you are disturbing habitat or removing native vegetation. You also need to consider if the work will impact on water bodies that have listed species such as frogs or waterways with listed fish species.
Local Government Legislation
Bylaws, permits to collect/harvest seed on roadsides or undertake works
Planning – applications, guides