Consultant Licensing etc. Redux

To: Carl Clifford <>
Subject: Consultant Licensing etc. Redux
From: Simon Muirhead <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2009 19:38:06 +1000
I would like to raise a couple of points in this discussion from the inside. Firstly, the industry has been undergoing the process of institutionalising for a number of years in the form of the Environmental Institute of Australia and New Zealand, but at this stage does not have any basis in legislation at this stage. Qualification requirements to undertake EIS etc in Queensland are typically outlined in the planning scheme of the local government area, but whether qualifications are ever checked is another matter.

Secondly I am bound ethically to achieve the best outcome for the client under the legislation. Personally, there are many pieces of legislation I work under that I don't consider they are worth the paper they are printed on. The Koala Management Plan for south-east Queensland is one such piece of legislation. Developers can only do what is legislated, therefore the buck stops at the legislators.

In my personal opinion the system will never work properly until there is some form of separation between the consultants and the developers, instead of the developer directly finding and engaging their prefered consultant.

Lastly, more often than not, the wildnet database (qld) or the NSW atlas etc is the only access to historical records available and in my experience have generally found it accurate. Of all the databases I have used the EPBC Protected Matters database is the worst and I stopped using it for ecological assessment years ago. As already mentioned it will turn up whales, dolphins etc kilometres from the coast. Unless I am doing an EPBC referral I wont even bother looking at it. To go out to a site and find a person with 20 years of records is a very rare find! I have no hesitation in using other sources for historical records.

I could go on a lot longer about my experience in the industry but dinner is calling!

cheers, simon muirhead


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