Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

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Plans/Management of Sites & Species as made
This instrument revokes the adoption of one Western Australian recovery plan and one South Australian recovery plan and adopts three New South Wales plans, five South Australia plans and four Western Australia plans, as recovery plans for listed threatened species and ecological communities.
Administered by: Environment and Energy
General Comments: Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - Section 269A - Instrument Adopting and Revoking Recovery Plans (NSW, SA and WA) (17/01/2014) revokes the following recovery plans with effect from 30/01/2014: Burbidge, A. and Kuchling, G. (2004). Western Swamp Tortoise (Pseudemydura umbrina) Recovery Plan. Department of Conservation and Land Management, Wanneroo, Western Australia (see F2005L02519) and Robertson, M. & Steed, Y. (2000). Spalding Blown Grass (Agrostis limitanea) Recovery Plan, National Parks and Wildlife SA (see F2007B00395).
Registered 29 Jan 2014
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR11-Feb-2014
Tabled Senate11-Feb-2014


(Issued under the Authority of the Minister for the Environment)


Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999

Instrument Adopting Recovery Plans


The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act) provides for the protection of the environment and conservation of biodiversity, including the protection and conservation of threatened species and ecological communities.


Part 13, Division 5, Subdivision A of the Act provides for the making, or adoption, of recovery plans for listed threatened species or ecological communities, which bind the Commonwealth and Commonwealth agencies.


Subsection 269A(7) of the Act enables the Minister, by instrument in writing, to adopt as a recovery plan for a listed threatened species or ecological community, a plan made by a State, a self-governing Territory or an agency of a State or self-governing Territory.


The purpose of this instrument is to adopt various recovery plans (the adopted plans) prepared respectively by New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, as the recovery plans for the following listed threatened species and ecological communities:


Acanthocladium dockeri (spiny everlasting, spiny daisy)

Beyeria subtecta (Kangaroo Island turpentine bush)

Caladenia calcicola (limestone spider-orchid)

Caladenia ovata (Kangaroo Island spider-orchid)

Caladenia richardsiorum (Little Dip spider-orchid)

Calyptorhynchus latirostris (Carnaby’s cockatoo)

Cheiranthera volubilis (twining finger flower)

Dasyornis brachypterus (eastern bristlebird)

Lachnagrostis limitanea (Spalding blown grass)

Leionema equestre (Kangaroo Island phebalium)

Logania insularis (Kangaroo Island logania)

Olearia microdisca (small-flowered daisy-bush)

Peppermint Box (Eucalyptus odorata) Grassy Woodland of South Australia (ecological community)

Petrogale lateralis hacketti (Recherche rock-wallaby)

Petrogale lateralis lateralis (black-flanked rock-wallaby)

Petrogale lateralis MacDonnell Ranges race (warru, black-footed rock-wallaby (MacDonnell Ranges race))

Petrogale lateralis West Kimberly race (black-footed rock-wallaby (West Kimberley race))

Pomaderris halmaturina subsp. halmaturina (Kangaroo Island pomaderris)

Pseudemydura umbrina (western swamp tortoise)

Pterostylis tenuissima (swamp greenhood)

Ptilotus beckerianus (ironstone mulla mulla)

Pultenaea villifera var. glabrescens (yellow bush-pea, splendid bush-pea)

Setonix brachyurus (quokka)

Spyridium eriocephalum var. glabrisepalum (MacGillivray spyridium)

Weeping Myall – Coobah – Scrub Wilga Shrubland of the Hunter Valley (ecological community)



The adopted plans provide for the research and management actions necessary to stop the decline of, and support the recovery of, the listed threatened species set out in the table, in order to maximise their chances of long-term survival in nature.


The adopted recovery plans of:

·         South Australia, in respect of:

-      Lachnagrostis limitanea (Spalding blown grass)

·         Western Australia, in respect of:

-      Pseudemydura umbrina (western swamp tortoise)

supersede recovery plans previously adopted under the Act. The Instrument revokes the adoption of the superseded recovery plans.


The recovery plan prepared by South Australia for nationally threatened plant species on Kangaroo Island has been adopted in respect of those species currently listed as threatened species under the Act that are endemic to Kangaroo Island. While Ptilotus beckerianus is not endemic to Kangaroo Island and this plan only covers the Kangaroo Island part of the species’ range, the plan has also been adopted in respect of this species, with it being anticipated that another recovery plan will cover the remainder of the species range, on Eyre Peninsula.


Subsection 277(1) of the Act provides that the Minister must not adopt a recovery plan under subsection 269A(7) unless:


-          the Minister is satisfied that an appropriate level of consultation has been undertaken in making the plan; and

-           the plan meets the requirements of section 270 of the Act.


In addition subsection 277(2) of the Act requires the Minister to obtain and consider advice from the Scientific Committee on the content of the plan.


The adopted plans have been assessed and comply with section 270 of the Act and regulation 7.11 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000. Details of how the adopted plans comply with section 270 of the Act are set out in Attachment A.


The adopted plans have been endorsed by the States and/or Territories in which the relevant species occur/s. Potentially affected Australian Government agencies have also been consulted.


All of the adopted plans were placed on public exhibition at various times for periods of 2-3 months each and comments were invited from the public. All plans were advertised in the Commonwealth of Australia Government Notices Gazette, The Australian newspaper and the website of the Australian Government Department of the Environment. Submissions were received on some of the draft recovery plans, mostly providing additional information on the species concerned or proposing minor amendments. A submission received on the draft recovery plan for the eastern bristlebird saw a need for suitable options to support long-term management on private land and expressed concern about lack of government resourcing for this species in particular and threatened species more generally. Some submissions on the draft recovery plan for Carnaby’s cockatoo expressed concern about the adequacy of state government legislation and policy to protect the species, and about the issue of cumulative impact of development in cockatoo habitat. All comments were considered in finalising the plans.


In accordance with subsection 277(2) of the Act, the advice of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee was also obtained on the content of the recovery plans. The Committee advised that it recommends the plans for adoption by the Minister.


The adopted plans are available from the Australian Government Department of the Environment website: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/recovery-list-scientific.html

or from the Community Information Unit, Department of the Environment, GPO Box 787, Canberra ACT 2601 or by phoning on 1800 803 772.


The Instrument adopting the recovery plans is a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.


The adopted plans commenced on the day after the Instrument was registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments.


Authority: Section 269A(7) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.


Statement of Compatibility with Human Rights


This Legislative Instrument is compatible with the human rights and freedoms recognised or declared in the international instruments listed in section 3 of the Human Rights (Parliamentary Scrutiny) Act 2011 (Cth). This Legislative Instrument does not engage any of the applicable rights or freedoms.




This Legislative Instrument is compatible with human rights as it does not raise any human rights issues.




Meeting the requirements of section 270 of the EPBC Act


Section 270 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the Act) specifies the content requirements for recovery plans. The Minister cannot adopt a State or Territory plan as a recovery plan, unless the plan meets the requirements of section 270.


The Department of the Environment and the Threatened Species Scientific Committee assessed the adopted plans and both concluded that they comply with the requirements of section 270 of the EPBC Act.


Section 270 (1) of the Act provides that a recovery plan must provide for the research and management actions necessary to stop the decline of, and support the recovery of, the listed threatened species concerned so that their long-term chances of survival in the wild are maximised. The adopted plans were assessed as compliant in this respect. Each of the adopted plans provides an appropriate balance between identified research actions necessary to better understand the ecological requirements of the species, and management actions necessary to deal with all of the known threats and improve the species’ prospects of survival.


Section 270(2) of the Act provides that a recovery plan must particularly include the material specified in that subsection. The adopted plans each state:


-          the objectives to be achieved;

-          the criteria against which achievement of the objectives is to be measured; and

-          the actions needed to achieve the objectives.


Therefore, they were assessed as compliant in respect of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of section 270(2) of the Act.


Section 270(2A) of the Act provides that a recovery plan is only required to address certain matters identified in section 270(2) to the extent it is practicable to do so. This includes:


-     identifying habitats critical to survival of the species;

-     identifying populations under particular pressure of survival; and

-     specifying major benefits to other native species or ecological communities that will be affected by implementation of the plan/s.


Where this information is readily available, it was identified in the relevant plan. For example, effective conservation of the quokka will depend upon continued control of feral animals, the identification, creation and maintenance of preferred habitat, implementation of initiatives to reduce the spread of Phytophthora dieback and an ability to respond to the effects of climate change. In working towards these goals, other species with similar habitat requirements to the quokka are likely to benefit, such as the noisy scrub-bird, western whipbird, Gilbert’s potoroo and the western ringtail possum. An improved understanding of the similar and competing habitat requirements for these species may also be achieved, particularly in relation to fire management. Actions in the recovery plan for five species of rock wallabies that target invasive animals and plants will deliver benefits to many other species and restore health to ecological communities. Cat and fox baiting to conserve rock wallabies will have benefits locally for other threatened species such as the mallee-fowl, bilby, marsupial mole, mulgara and great desert skink. Goat control will improve the state of vegetation communities and may contribute to the conservation of threatened plant species. Increases in the size of rock wallaby populations should in turn provide improved food resources for a variety of natural predators (pythons, birds of prey and perhaps western quolls) including threatened species such as the Pilbara olive python.


Where information is not available, additional actions have usually been incorporated into the plan for it to be obtained. For example, the recovery plan for peppermint box grassy woodland of South Australia includes actions aimed at addressing critical gaps in knowledge about the extent, condition and current management of peppermint box grassy woodland remnants; ecological functions and habitat requirements of component species; ‘best practice’ adaptive management strategies for different land uses; and the most effective strategies to restore degraded remnants.


Section 270(3) of the Act provides that in making a recovery plan, regard must be had to the objects of the Act, the most efficient and effective use of resources, minimising adverse social and economic impacts, meeting Australia’s international obligations, and the role and interests of indigenous people. All of the adopted plans are compliant with these requirements. For example, the recovery plan for Kangaroo Island threatened plants integrates actions across multiple threatened species, links to and builds on existing management programs, and will help prevent the future decline of many associated plant species and communities as well as the fauna species and populations reliant on them.


The implementation of the adopted plans provides an opportunity for engagement with indigenous communities, especially for those species that are of particular historic or cultural significance to indigenous peoples. For example, eastern bristlebird populations and their habitat occur across areas of cultural significance to numerous indigenous groups. Within the range of the northern population, Aboriginal groups have already been engaged for some years in planning, on ground resource management and education and cultural tourism projects as part of biodiversity management plans for the Border Ranges Rainforest and Northern Rivers regions. This has included involvement in eastern bristlebird habitat management planning and rehabilitation, which is intended to continue through the implementation of the recovery plan for the eastern bristlebird. Liaison with traditional owners, Aboriginal elders and their communities in other parts of species range will also continue and increase as partnerships become better established, and their involvement in further consultation and implementation of recovery actions will continue to be encouraged.


Also, rock wallabies were an important food source for many Aboriginal people prior to colonial settlement, while the people of the Ngaanyatjarra community have creation stories about rock wallabies (warru) related to nearby hills. Rock wallabies still occur on vast tracts of Aboriginal land and efforts to save rock wallaby populations from extinction in desert areas of WA and SA have provided some employment opportunities for Aboriginal people. For instance, at the Townsend Ridges, Kalka and New Well, local Aboriginal people have been employed by state government conservation agencies or local land councils to survey for rock wallabies and to lay predator baits to help in the recovery of small rock wallaby populations. Fox baiting operations are likely to have positive impacts on the populations of bush-tucker species. The recovery plan for five species of rock wallabies aims to contribute positively to the range of job opportunities available to communities (especially Aboriginal communities) and increase involvement in the management of rock wallabies by remote communities on their lands and other land tenure.