A primary focus of the Environment Effects Statement (EES) was understanding how the construction of rail trenches at Edithvale and Bonbeach could affect vegetation and how we could manage any potential impacts.
Impact to the wetlands vegetation
The EES found that the vegetation in the Edithvale-Seaford Wetlands would not be impacted by the level crossing removals at Edithvale and Bonbeach.
This is because groundwater changes resulting from the project are highly unlikely to occur closer than one kilometre from the Edithvale wetlands.
The vegetation, birds and animals in the wetlands would not be impacted by the project.
Impact to coastal vegetation
There is the possibility of impacting some coastal vegetation due to lowering of the groundwater on the side of the trenches. By implementing mitigation measures, we expect any impacts to be avoided at Bonbeach and Edithvale.
Groundwater is essential for many local ecosystems such as wetlands, rivers and coastal dunes.
Our planning and technical work predicts possible changes in ground water levels around the trenches. This is not uncommon on projects of this nature.
The projects will be undertaken in accordance with a robust Environmental Performance Framework which is included in the EES. The Framework includes Environmental Performance Requirements which provide examples of how mitigations of environmental risks can be implemented, including for any potential coastal vegetation impacts.
Mitigation measures may include monitoring groundwater and vegetation, irrigation, and planting of new drought-tolerant vegetation.
Habitat is the natural home or environment of animals and plants.
A team of technical experts conducted several detailed studies at Edithvale and Bonbeach, to ensure that the construction of the rail trenches would not result in habitat fragmentation, which is the breaking up of large areas of habitat into smaller sections.
Our studies found that the risk of habitat fragmentation is extremely low, in other words, negligible.
Vegetation removal and landscaping
To construct the rail trenches at Edithvale and Bonbeach, it will be necessary to remove some plants and trees along the rail corridor, including native vegetation.
We will remove as few trees as possible.
As part of these projects we will implement a revegetation plan. Native vegetation that is removed in the rail corridor to construct the trenches will be offset – more native vegetation will be planted in the region or existing vegetation will be improved.
Where appropriate, new vegetation will be planted as part of the design. We will continue to consult with the community about re-planting and landscaping before construction begins.
Native vegetation that is removed in the rail corridor to construct the trenches will be offset – more native vegetation will be planted in the region or existing vegetation will be improved.
We will continue to consult with the community about re-planting and landscaping before construction begins.
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