Upgrade for Orange Springs Road, Gingin to Commence 🚧🌼

Published on Thursday, 6 February 2020 at 4:02:00 PM

The Shire of Gingin will commence the upgrade of the Orange Springs Road between Cowalla Road and Brand Highway this week following receipt of final environmental approval.

Orange Springs Road is part of the Agricultural Lime Network from Lancelin to the Wheatbelt. The upgrade is part of the Wheatbelt Lime Strategy and Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight Strategy and is required to accommodate the current and increasing movement of B-doubles and pocket road trains transporting lime and other agricultural commodities.

The work consists of widening the bitumen seal and strengthening the base of the road to accommodate 400-500 heavy road trains and other trucks per day in February-March annually.

As part of its preparation to undertake these roadworks, the Shire of Gingin submitted an application for a Clearing Permit to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation to seek approval to clear approximately 2ha of native vegetation along the road. The permit was primarily for where the road adjoins the Moore River National Park.

The Wildflower Society of Western Australia (WSWA) were initially concerned about the impact of the road works on two species of Priority Flora and patches of the Banksia Woodland of the Swan Coastal Plain Threatened Ecological Community (TEC). It therefore lodged an appeal against the Clearing Permit.

An on-site meeting was held between the WSWA, the Shire of Gingin, Ecoedge (the Shire of Gingin’s flora survey consultant) and the Office of the Appeals Convenor. During this meeting, the route and the proposed clearing footprint were inspected and the WSWA consequently withdrew its appeal against the grant of a Clearing Permit to the Shire, allowing the project to proceed. 

The WSWA endorsed the project because it considered that the project demonstrated best practice and complimented the Shire on the extensive work it had done to minimise the clearing footprint and environmental impact.

As a consequence of the detailed design and extensive modification of normal road construction practice, the Shire has been able to fit most of the road widening into the existing road footprint and cleared maintenance zone. This has resulted in reducing clearing to no more than 1m on either side in most cases. In many instances the Shire has been able to avoid clearing on one side entirely without compromising safety, seal width and drainage requirements.

The outcome of this process of submissions, on-site discussion and design is a highly satisfactory result. Both parties were able to achieve their aims with approval granted for the Shire of Gingin to commence construction. For their part, the WSWA was able to see through the employment of best practice road methodology so that the environmental impact was minimised.

Additionally, the Shire of Gingin agreed to allow qualified and experienced members of the WSWA to undertake a plant rescue and salvage operation in advance of clearing, under the supervision of the Shire to ensure road works safety standards are maintained.

Due to effective consultation processes between all parties involved, future projects of this nature can be streamlined through effective stakeholder engagement, thus avoiding lengthy delays in the process.

The upgrade to Orange Springs Road is only one element of the Shire of Gingin’s work to upgrade the Agricultural Lime Network. The Shire has already upgraded Sappers Road and will need to undertake pruning of native vegetation along the northern part of Cowalla Road in the future. Going forwards, the Shire of Gingin will continue to work hand in hand with all stakeholders to ensure efficient construction whilst conserving the natural environment.

- ENDS -


 For further media details please contact:

 Wildflower Society of Western Australia

Dr Eddy Wajon, Chair, Roadside Vegetation sub-committee
T: 0428 345 231

Dr Kevin Theile, President
T: 0407 509 778

Shire of Gingin

Miranda Wallace, Communications & Marketing Officer
T: (08) 9575 5150, E: cmo@gingin.wa.gov.au


Further Notes:

As part of this Clearing Permit process, the Shire engaged Ecoedge Environmental Services to undertake a targeted Flora Survey for Threatened and Priority species and for the Banksia Woodland of the Swan Coastal Plain Threatened Ecological Community (TEC). The survey found two species of Priority flora and patches of the Banksia Woodland TEC were present along the route.

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