The conservation and protection of native fauna, including threatened and endangered species, is important to the department. Road corridors are maintained where possible to support unique flora and fauna species.
During the planning phase of projects, TMR completes an environmental assessment to understand the potential risks on fauna corridors, fauna habitat and the potential for road kills, to inform the project design where possible. Our Fauna Sensitive Road Design Manual is used to design, construct and maintain roads that better accommodate the needs of fauna, by reducing habitat or population fragmentation and the impact of road traffic.
When considering the suitability of fauna friendly infrastructure as a possible mitigation measure, we consider a number of issues, including:
- the design needs of the target species
- existing landscape connectivity
- current and future land uses adjacent to the project
- physical design constraints such as topography, geometry, accessibility and drainage
- road safety and funding availability for both construction and an ongoing maintenance commitment
- the suitability of alternative mitigation measures such as signage, habitat restoration and reduced speed limits.
We engage with key stakeholders to understand where there are particular high risk locations for animal-vehicle collisions along the existing road network that need to be managed.
Under the federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999, the southern cassowary is listed as endangered nationally with the Wet Tropics population listed as endangered and the Cape York population listed as vulnerable under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992.
We are aware of the importance of cassowary conservation and have been working with other agencies and organisations to put into place a framework for cassowary management. The Cassowary Conservation Management Plan better positions TMR to respond to the management of cassowaries on state-controlled roads in North Queensland. This will be achieved through the development and implementation of best practice in managing cassowary interactions, from project design through to the overarching maintenance of the state-controlled roads.
Under Queensland’s Nature Conservation Act 1992, koalas are listed as vulnerable state-wide and are a protected species.
We have representation on the Koala Advisory Council and are working collaboratively with the Department of Environment and Science in the delivery of the South East Queensland Koala Conservation Strategy.
A significant infrastructure project recently constructed was the 13km Redcliffe Peninsula Line, the rail corridor passes through areas of koala habitat between Petrie and Kippa-Ring. A koala management program was implemented prior to construction works with the aim of minimising the risk of death or injury to koalas during construction works, to provide scientific data to inform and support mitigation works, and to offset some of the residual impacts of the rail project on the koala population through a holistic package of measures. The Moreton Bay Rail Link Koala – Natural Environment Technical Report provides details of the program and the results.
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