In a long running dispute lasting over a decade, a developer has been ordered to pay Tweed council $600,000 (Tweed Daily News). The developer who had been awarded hefty compensation over drain works that encouraged a family of the threatened Wallum Froglets to move onto a block of land at Kingscliff, has been ordered to pay back more than $600,000 to Tweed Shire Council.
The Wallum Froglets (Crinia tinnula) is listed as a vulnerable species under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (NSW). The Wallum Froglet is restricted to relatively well vegetated and undisturbed acid paperbark swamps and sedge swamps in the coastal Wallum country between southern Queensland and the central coast of NSW (Cogger 2000, Robinson 1998). The Wallum Froglet is at threat form the following:
• Destruction and degradation of coastal wetlands as a result of roadworks, coastal developments and sand-mining;
• Reduction of water quality and changes to acidity in coastal wetlands; and
• Grazing and associated frequent burning of coastal wetlands.
Wallum Froglets are small frogs, no more than 30 mm long. They are extremely variable in colour and pattern, from light grey or brown to dark grey above and usually white or light brown below (sparsely flecked with darker patches). Click here for more info on this species.
This long running dispute has costed the community (including Council and the developer) considerable resources and it is dubious whether such dispute has resulted in any positive outcomes for the threatened froglet and/or a sustainable development. At Land & Fire Assessments Pty Ltd (LFA) we believe that is best and cheaper in the long-run to identify environmental constraints first and aim at developing the portions of a given site which is the least constrained. LFA staff has extensive experience in flora and fauna impact assessment including comprehensive or targeted flora and fauna reports, which are a further component of this work. LFA staff has extensive experience in the compilation of Biodiversity/Ecological Restoration Management Plans as well as on-going ecological monitoring and evaluation reporting.