Pacific Highway flora and fauna protection program begins

A rehabilitation program for threatened flora and fauna has begun at Teven as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade biodiversity offset program.

A 220 hectare property at Teven has been given to NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service to continually protect native wildlife and vegetation along the highway.

NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the Pacific Highway upgrade had been a major investment in regional communities, creating more than more than 100,000 jobs over the lifecycle of the project – 3000 of those on the final Woolgoolga to Ballina section alone.

“We’ve used about 1500 tonnes of recycled glass sourced from Lismore City Council and after being crushed and washed, it went into the concrete paving used on the Wells Crossing to Glenugie section of the Woolgoolga to Ballina upgrade,” Toole said.

“These Teven wetlands is just another example of how we’re getting on with the job of delivering road projects that make a real difference to locals while ensuring the environment they treasure is protected.”

State Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said other sustainability initiatives used on the Pacific Highway upgrade included using cleared mulch for sediment controls, reusing rock and dirt cut from one site to fill other sections and fuelling a biomass-fired power generator with green waste.

“More than 500 root systems and 800 timber pins recovered from the vegetation removal process along the Woolgoolga to Ballina section of the upgrade have also been reused to stabilise local river banks and restore fish habitat in the Clarence, Richmond and Tweed River catchments,” Franklin said.

“On top of that, biodiversity offsets provide an opportunity for landowners to receive a guaranteed long-term income in return for managing some or all of their land for wildlife.”

The Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade will see more than 3600 hectares of land protected. Private landowners will manage about 1400 hectares of this land through biodiversity stewardship agreements.

In total the Pacific Highway projects have provided around 9000 hectares of biodiversity offsets between Hexham and the Queensland border.

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