Canberra Brickworks Environmental Offset Strategy

Offset Strategies and Management | Environmental Impact Assessment

The golden sun moth (Synemon plana) is a Commonwealth listed threatened species which is protected as a matter of national environmental significance.  Actions that may impact the golden sun moth must address provisions for the protection of the species.

Case Study: golden sun moth

What was the project?

Umwelt were engaged to ensure the duplication of Dudley Street in Yarralumla gained Commonwealth approval under the EPBC Act. A component of the Canberra Brickworks Urban Development Project, approval was required due to potential impacts on natural temperate grassland critically endangered ecological community, and the critically endangered golden sun moth. As part of this approval process, an Offset Strategy and Management Plan was required due to unavoidable impacts to these matters.

We were engaged due to our long history working on the associated Canberra Brickworks Project, having completed golden sun moth surveys over numerous years, and our experience in the provision of planning advice.

What was the process?

There are minimal opportunities for offsetting golden sun moth in the ACT due to a lack of available, unprotected habitat. We identified a site – the North Mitchell Grasslands – that was the preference of the ACT Government offsets team and conservation officers.

Through extensive consultation with the Department of the Environment and Energy, Umwelt developed an offset strategy which provided innovative measures for habitat improvement and opportunities for rehabilitation at the offset site, as well as indirect offsets at the construction site to help enhance the overall understanding of the species’ resilience to disturbance.

What was the outcome?

Through consultation with the land managers, transparent and robust commitments were developed which provided the Department with confidence that the offset could be achieved.

The project gained EPBC Act approval in February 2019, due in part to the offset strategy developed that would result in positive outcomes. Furthermore, Umwelt received positive feedback about working with the client, Land Manager, and Regulator to resolve issues.