Private Land Owners
‘Flora and fauna (ecological) assessment’, ‘native vegetation offsets’, ‘Property Management Plan’, ‘BAL Assessment’ and Bushfire Management Statement’ are all terms that private landowners are likely to come across when planning to establish a dwelling or larger shed on a bush block. These are often required as part of a local government planning permit, and in some cases, additional approval from state or federal government departments. They may also be required as part of the conditions attached to a planning permit that has already been approved.
Practical Ecology specialises in providing private landowners with a ‘One-Stop Shop’ in regards to the preparation of the various documents required as part of the approval process, particularly on sites with ecological values and/or bushfire risk issues. Our expert Ecological Consultants are able to undertake a Flora and Fauna (ecological) assessment (and often a bushfire risk assessment), followed by an analysis of relevant legislation and policy and client consultation. Based on a final site layout, we undertake an impact analysis of the proposed development aimed at determining native vegetation offset requirements, if applicable. A Property Management Plan can also be prepared, and we let client know if an EPBC referral is deemed necessary. We can also prepare a Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessment, Bushfire Hazard Management Plans (Tasmania) or Bushfire Management Statement (Victoria). These can be provided as standalone documents, or as part of an overall report covering the various ecological and bushfire related documentation required as part of the development approval process.
As a multifaceted company with a dedicated Ecological Restoration and Land Management team, Practical Ecology can also provide private landowners a wide range of on-ground services related to native vegetation management and restoration. This ranges from weed control and revegetation, to fencing and direct seeding.
Practical Ecology works with private landowners, government and business as part of small and large scale development projects on both private and public land. This includes not only small and large scale subdivisions, but various infrastructure projects associated with pipelines, utilities, roads, and rail lines. We are also often involved in landscape scale strategic planning projects across all levels of government.
Over time, our Ecological Consultants have gained extensive experience in providing quality advice to clients and preparing the various documents pertaining to ecology and bushfire that are often required as part of the planning processes undertaken for such projects, and associated approvals by local, state and federal government departments. These documents have included, but not been limited to:
- Due Diligence Assessments, to help our clients can make informed decisions before purchasing or developing a property
- Flora and Fauna (ecological) Assessments, including Flora Surveys and Vegetation Assessments as well as Fauna Surveys and Habitat Assessments
- Property Management Plans, including Offset Management Plans, Site Environmental Management Plans and Native Vegetation Precinct Plans (NVPPs)
- Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) assessments and Bushfire Management Statements (BMS)
- specialist bushfire related advice for strategic planning and planning approvals
- EPBC referrals
- Flora and Fauna Salvage and Translocation Plans, and
- Peer Reviews of the ecological (and bushfire risk) information prepared by other organisations as part of planning permit applications
- Expert witness statements as part of Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) appearances where planning issues have to be formally resolved.
Our dedicated Ecological Restoration and Land Management team can also provide property developers with a range of on-ground services related to native vegetation management and restoration. These services include weed control, revegetation, fencing and direct seeding. As these are often required as part of planning permit conditions associated with development particularly where native vegetation is to be managed as an offset, all of these can be teamed with the regular monitoring and reporting to meet the requirements of government
Practical Ecology regularly provides managers of private bush blocks and public reserves with the information they require to take care of the land they manage in a manner that is not only sensitive to the ecological values that are there, but often also takes bushfire risk into consideration. Our clients, past and present, include:
- local and state government land managers, including those involved in the management of bushland reserves, urban parklands and roadsides
- private bushblock owners, often required to manage land according to a specified schedule as part of a native vegetation offset or planning permit conditions, and
- developers of large-scale subdivisions with responsibilities to manage native vegetation retained on-site.
Our Ecological Restoration and Land Management team can provide a direct indication of the works that may be required to manage and restore native vegetation or establish it through a revegetation program. Alternatively, they can implement the schedule of works set out with a Property Management Plans, as prepared by our own Ecological Consultants, or another organisation. Practical Ecology can also undertake necessary monitoring that is required to ensure that the works set our within a Property Management Plan is being implemented in a manner that is achieving desired outcomes over time.
Practical Ecology has a long history of working alongside other consultancies and organisations or acting as sub-contractors to them.
Staff from our Ecological Consulting team frequently act as the ecological and bushfire risk experts on development projects that involve a team of other specialists, such as architects, heritage consultants, engineers, planners and arborists, all working concurrently. Throughout this process, we aim to provide clear, constructive advice that aims to respond to the ecological values and bushfire risk issues present within a particular site, while also taking other aspects of the proposed development into consideration.
Our Ecological Restoration and Land Management team also act as sub-consultants to other organisations, such as landscape and civil contractors, when undertaking on-ground works. They also work alongside other organisations, such as landscape architects, involved in the implementation of projects.
The relationships we develop our professional partners often commences at part of the tendering process, flowing then through to meetings and actual project implementation.