As part of the largest infrastructure project in northern Victoria, we’re building a second Murray River crossing to connect Echuca and Moama to make it quicker and easier for you to travel across the Campaspe and Murray Rivers.
Building a new bridge across the Murray River will improve the way people live, work and travel around Echuca and Moama.
We understand the complex balance of improving road safety and connecting communities whilst caring for our natural environment.
When we build, we comply with all legislative requirements, including those of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Download and read the Offset Management Plan for the Grey Box Grassy Woodland (PDF, 2.7 MB).
Managing tree removal
A project of this significance requires space to complete works and this will have an impact on the native vegetation along Warren Street, through Victoria Park and in New South Wales.
We’re continually investigating options that will save as many trees as possible throughout the design and construction process.
There will be changes to the environment, particularly along the route that passes through the Victoria Park precinct. However, we have designed the overall route for the project to minimise the impact on the area’s biodiversity.
Protecting the environment
To help us minimise the number of trees affected by design and construction, we’ve undertaken a detailed tree mapping study to develop a vegetation database.
Every tree along the alignment with a diameter greater than 100mm has been GPS located and we’ve recorded information such as species, diameter and potential timber reuse opportunities.
During our investigations, we identified the following indigenous species:
- Grey Box Eucalyptus microcarpa
- Black Box Eucalyptus largiflorens
- Yellow Box Eucalyptus melliodora
- River Red-gum Eucalyptus camaldulensis.
A variety of planted species were found throughout the study area, including Pine trees Pinus sp., Sugar Gum Eucalyptus cladocalyx and Kurrajong Brachychiton populneus.
As part of our efforts for high community value timber re-use initiatives, we have:
- Provided catchment management authorities with river snags to promote fish breeding grounds
- Provided hollows to the Kyabram Fauna Park for fauna habitat
- Supplied the Campaspe Shire with logs for their wharf restoration program.
We’re also considering options such as:
- Providing timber for millable purposes like furniture and community parks
- Putting woodchips back into the road landscape design.
We’re also working with our Environmental Reference Group (ERG). This community group is instrumental in guiding our decisions to make sure that any timber removed is put to effective use for everybody.
In late 2017 we conducted an independent environmental assessment.
Environmental experts looked at each tree individually to identify the species and whether it was a habitat for wildlife. An audit of the vegetation in the area was also completed.
To protect the wildlife, we’ll install appropriately sized nesting boxes. These boxes will be placed in adjacent trees and hollow bearing trunks on the ground, so hollow-dependent fauna can continue to use them as habitat.
During tree removal works we’ll always have a suitably qualified specialist onsite to check the trees and safely relocate any animals to a suitable habitat nearby.
Cultural heritage and ecology
We’ve consulted with the traditional land owners, the Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation for assistance to identify culturally important sites. We’ve also consulted with local land care groups such as Strathallan Family Landcare group and Echuca-Moama Land care group.
Planting native trees
To maintain environmental diversity, we’re collecting seeds from trees that have been identified for removal.
These plants have adapted to local conditions so it’s important to collect their seeds. The seeds are being supplied to a local nursery where they are stored and then propagated to be used as part of the new landscaping and re-vegetation plans.
Where possible, we’ll replant trees, shrubs and native grasses from the seeds we’ve collected. We’ll also source additional native plants from local nurseries.
Hollow Replacement Strategy
The project will develop and implement a Hollow Replacement Strategy, which will include:
- Creating one hollow suitable for Squirrel Gliders for every hollow-bearing tree that is removed and improving habitat for Squirrel Gliders in areas where hollows are installed.
- A mix of long-term hollows (hollows created in standing living and dead trees), and reinstallation of retained natural hollows in adjacent vegetation.
- Replacement hollows installed in areas where the current density of large trees (and therefore likely habitat trees) is low.
Conservation Vegetation Management Plan for Victoria park
As an additional measure to assist other agencies with future management in Victoria park and Scenic Drive Reserve, the project is committing to prepare a Conservation and Vegetation Management Plan for Victoria Park Reserve for (and in consultation with) Campaspe Shire Council, Parks Vic and Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
Environmental Monitoring Program
An environmental monitoring program is being developed by ecologists specialising in threatened species. The monitoring program will include detail of how we will monitor the success of mitigation measures designed to protect threatened species and communities.
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