Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Lists as made
This instrument amends the Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes to include the Coastal Swamp Sclerophyll Forest of New South Wales and South East Queensland in the endangered category of the list of threatened ecological communities.
Administered by: Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
Registered 07 Dec 2021
Tabling HistoryDate
Tabled HR08-Feb-2022
Tabled Senate08-Feb-2022



Commonwealth of Australia


List of Threatened Ecological Communities Amendment (EC171) Instrument 2021



I, SUSSAN LEY, Minister for the Environment, pursuant to paragraph 184(a) of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, amend the list referred to in section 181 of that Act by including in the list of threatened ecological communities in the endangered category:


Coastal Swamp Sclerophyll Forest of New South Wales and South East Queensland


as described in the Schedule to this instrument.


This instrument commences the day after registration.




Sussan Ley


Sussan Ley

Minister for the Environment




Dated ....22 November 2021.......................................



Coastal Swamp Sclerophyll Forest of New South Wales and South East Queensland

The Coastal Swamp Sclerophyll Forest of New South Wales and South East Queensland ecological community includes the plants, animals and other organisms associated with a type of forested wetland found on the south-east coast of Australia. It lies between the Great Dividing Range and coast, including islands within 20km of the coast, from near Gladstone, Queensland, to the south coast of New South Wales. The ecological community occurs within the South East Queensland (SEQ), NSW North Coast (NNC), Sydney Basin (SYB) and South East Corner (SEC) bioregions. 

The ecological community typically occupies low-lying coastal areas, most commonly below 20m above sea level (ASL) but may occur up to 220m ASL, for example on hill slopes with perched swamps or a naturally high-water table.

The vegetation structure varies from closed forest to woodland or shrubland and has a minimum crown cover of 10 percent.

Intact patches of Coastal Swamp Sclerophyll Forest have a canopy and/or sub-canopy dominated by Melaleuca spp. and/or Eucalyptus robusta (Swamp Mahogany).

·      In the northern part of its range (SYB bioregion to Queensland), the canopy is typically dominated or co-dominated by Melaleuca quinquenervia (Broad-leaved Paperbark) and/or Eucalyptus robusta (Swamp Mahogany). In the southern part of its range (SYB to the south coast of NSW) the canopy is typically dominated or co-dominated by Swamp Mahogany and/or Melaleuca ericifolia (Swamp Paperbark).

·      In some areas, the canopy may be locally dominated by other melaleuca species including: M. dealbata (SEQ bioregion) (rarely); M. biconvexa (mid-NSW coast to south of Sydney); M. decora (north of Shoalhaven).

·      Other tree species may occur in the canopy (or sub-canopy) in some areas, but they are not dominant across a patch, including Casuarina glauca, Banksia spp., Callistemon salignus, Corymbia intermedia (Pink Bloodwood), E. tereticornis (Forest Red Gum/Queensland Blue Gum), E. longifolia (Woollybutt), E. botryoides (Southern Mahogany/Bangalay), E. ovata (Swamp Gum), Livistona australis and/or Lophostemon spp.  Some of these species are more prominent in sites adjacent to other forest types, such as rainforests and eucalypt forests.

·      The understorey typically includes a variable ground layer, depending on the canopy cover and inundation rate/period. Tall sedges (typically Gahnia spp.) and/or ferns often dominate the ground layer, mixed with graminoids and other herbs, especially Imperata cylindrica (Blady Grass).

·      Vines that climb into the crowns of canopy trees may be present, including Parsonsia straminea (Common silk-pod), Gynochthodes jasminoides (Climbing Scrub-orange) and Stephania japonica var. discolour (Snake-vine). Epiphytic plants, such as Cymbidium suave (Snake Orchid), can also be found on the branches of larger trees. Twining and scrambler plants present along the ground include Glycine clandestina (Twining Glycine) and G. tabacina (Glycine Pea, Variable Glycine).

·      The ecological community may include more specialist plant species at certain sites. For example: species tolerant of salinity, such as Twig-rushes, may be more common in areas close to estuaries or where groundwater is influenced by brackish flows. While they can occur regularly in the ground layer, the ecological community is not present if halophytic species, more typically associated with estuarine/saltmarsh areas, dominate the ground layer of a patch, for example, Appium prostratum, Atriplex cineria, Chenopodium glaucum, Rhagodia candolleaus and Samolus repens.

·      Wetland specialist plants, such as Cycnogeton procerum (Water Ribbons) are present at sites that are more often inundated.

·      Cryptogams such as mosses, lichens and liverworts occur where light levels are low, while Sphagnum moss may be regularly present in waterlogged areas.

This ecological community includes a variety of fauna species, including many that are listed individually as threatened or migratory species.