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Tuesday, 8 February 2005
Page: 179


Senator Allison asked the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, upon notice, on 17 November 2004:

With reference to threatened ecological community listings and the report, Identification and Assessment of Nationally Threatened Woodlands.

(1)   What course of action will the Minister take to ensure the further assessment of national ecological communities identified as lacking data or not assessed.

(2)   Does the Minister intend to proceed with the listing of two national ecological communities identified as eligible for listing under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act), namely: (a) Coolabah woodlands and open woodlands in the Mulga Lands and Darling Riverine Plains (and neighboring lands); and (b) Woodlands of Eucalyptus formanii of the arid region of Western Australia.

(3)   Given the findings of the report will the public nomination for Coolabah (Eucalyptus coolabah)/ blackbox (Eucalyptus largiflorens) woodlands of northern New South Wales wheatbelt and Queensland Brigalow Belt Bioregion be progressed under the EPBC Act, particularly as the New South Wales portion of this region has recently been recognized as an endangered ecological community under the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.


Senator Ian Campbell (Minister for the Environment and Heritage) —The answer to the honourable senator’s question is as follows:

(1)   Consideration of the national ecological communities identified in the woodlands report will be undertaken in the context of the strategic framework set out in the report Process for assessing vegetation-based State and Territory listed ecological communities under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 on my Department’s website at http://www.deh.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/communities/nvisprocess.html.

(2)   I will consider whether or not the particular ecological communities in question are eligible for listing under the EPBC Act following receipt of expert advice from the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, as required by the EPBC Act.

(a)  

   The Committee is currently assessing a public nomination for Coolabah (Eucalyptus coolabah)/ Black Box (Eucalyptus largiflorens) Woodlands of the Northern NSW Wheatbelt and Queensland Brigalow Belt bioregion.

(b)  

   The Woodlands of Eucalyptus formanii of the semi-arid and arid regions of Western Australia will be assessed by the Committee within the strategic framework noted at (1) above.

(3)   Yes.