The area between Tully and the Cardwell Gap is one of the most biologically important parts of the Wet Tropics bioregion. Two World Heritage Areas side-by-side, Commonwealth and State endangered/vulnerable mammals, birds and plants in the Mahogany glider, Southern cassowary, and Ant plant, all in a connected heterogeneous landscape, combine to challenge any Project Environment lead. Biotropica Australia’s experience in tropical ecosystem management and specialist knowledge in linear infrastructure construction, resulted in providing all environmental management services to construction head the Balfour Beatty United Group (BBUGL), constructors of the new 275kV Ingham-Tully power-line.
Powerlink Queensland who commissioned the project has been planning this challenging build since 2003, and the State’s electricity transmission corporation has used Biotropica Australia’s specialist tropical ecology skills frequently during the route selection and design process. BBUGL used this specialist local knowledge since commencement in 2012 to ensure its construction program is environmentally compliant at all times. Our experience in tropical forest restoration and invasive species management also meant Biotropica Australia’s Land Management Services team were involved – completing a number of weed control and ecological restoration assignments.
Biotropica Australia’s experience in all aspects of tropical linear infrastructure means we are able to provide a complete project package from route selection, EIS, construction environmental management and ground work, as well as post-works rehabilitation and biological monitoring. These skills are now being used by BBUGL to assist with the next phase of the project – the decommissioning of the now defunct power-line through the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area between Tully and the Koombooloomba Escarpment.