In November 2004, the NSW Department of Environment & Conservation (DEC),
now called the Department of Environment & Climate Change (DECC), produced
draft guidelines for threatened biodiversity survey and assessment
associated with development and activity applications in NSW. These
guidelines can be viewed at
understand that DECC is updating these guidelines and the final version
should be available soon.
These guidelines describe the techniques and effort that should be employed
in surveying threatened biodiversity when assessing potential impacts of a
particular development or activity. Government agencies in NSW, when
assessing ecological consultancy reports, usually require ecological
assessments to meet these guidelines.
I agree with Laurie that sometimes sub-standard reports slip through the
government net because of an under-resourced and under-funded public service
and, often, as a result of the government reviews being conducted by
On Behalf Of Chris Sanderson
Sent: Monday, 22 June 2009 11:35 AM
To: Carl Clifford
Cc: Birding-Aus Aus
Subject: Should Consultants Be Licensed? Should Their
reports Be Placed in the Public Domain?
It would be great if the government took some interest in standardising
effort/professionalism of consultants in the EIS game. In lieu of that
happening (and I have no reason to believe the government is even slightly
interested in doing so), check out the group EIANZ Ecology. Simon Mustoe
has set it up to provide a centralised group for consultants to help work
towards some industry standards. There's already some great discussion up
there about the finer points of environment legislation.
It's probably worth noting also before the discussion gets too personal,
that yes, some consultants and consultancies don't display a lot of regard
for the environment, however I know many consultants who genuinely care and
do their utmost to protect and preserve areas they are asked to do an EIS
for, where it is appropriate from a legal and conservation perspective. If
you don't like the outcomes, please question the framework they are working
within as much or more than the individual doing the EIS.
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