Endangered Ecological Communities and Wetlands
Biodiversity' or 'biological diversity' is the variety of life on earth and can be thought of in terms of genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity.
Biodiversity includes all the different plants (from lichen and mosses to shrubs and trees), animals (invertebrates, frogs, reptiles, birds and mammals) and micro-organisms such as bacteria. Almost every aspect of human life is affected by biodiversity.
Local government is a key player in the conservation and management of biodiversity and threatened species. The Botany Bay City Council is responsible for planning and regulating many activities, which may impact on biodiversity and threatened species. We also manage areas of public land, much of which contains important biodiversity values.
Endangered Ecological Communities
The following Endangered Ecological Communities are identified in City of Botany Bay and are listed under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 and the Botany Bay Local Environment Plan 2013.
- Sand Based Vegetation Communities
- Bangalay Sand Forest
- Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub
- Wetland Vegetation Communities
- Sydney Freshwater Wetlands
- Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains
Sand Based Vegetation Communities
Bangalay Sand Forest
The Bangalay Sand Forest occurs on deep, freely draining to damp sandy soils on flat to moderate slopes within a few kilometres of the sea and at altitudes below 100 metres. The Bangalay Sand Forests of the Sydney are typically 5-20 metres tall with a dense to open tree canopy.
Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub
The Eastern Suburb Banksia Scrub once occupied around 5,300 hectares of land between Port Jackson and Botany Bay. Today, less than 3% of the original vegetation remains as a number of small, isolated remnants ranging in size from 0.06 to 8.5 hectares and totalling only 138 hectares. The major threat to Eastern Suburb Banksia Scrub is vegetation clearing and degradation as a result of urban development.
Wetland Vegetation Communities
Sydney Freshwater Wetlands
The Sydney Freshwater Wetlands vegetation communities are restricted to freshwater swamps in swales and depressions on sand dunes and low nutrient sand plain sites in coastal areas. Sydney Freshwater Wetlands are a mosaic community with considerable variation due to fluctuating water levels and seasonal conditions. Threats to the Sydney Freshwater Wetlands include extensive clearing and illegal filling.
Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains
This swamp community include eucalypts and paperbark trees that stand more than 25 metres in height. They are associated with humic clay loams and sandy loams, on waterlogged or periodically inundated alluvial flats and drainage lines associated with coastal floodplains. Threats to the Swamp Sclerophyll Forest on Coastal Floodplains include earthworks associated with development, pollution from urban runoff, weed invasion and activation of acid sulfate soils.
The location of these endangered ecological communities can be found in Part 3M – Natural Resources of Councils DCP.
The Wetlands are identified in the Botany Bay Local Environmental Plan 2013:
- Botany Wetlands located throughout Eastlakes, The Lakes and Bonnie Doon Golf Courses;
- Mill Pond and Engine Pond areas located east and southeast of Sydney Airport in Botany; and
- Various pockets of land located adjacent to Foreshore Drive and in Sir Joseph Banks Park, Botany
Urban development such as housing, playing fields and industries in Sydney have degraded or destroyed the habitat value of many wetlands. Development across a wetlands catchment can also significantly increase the amount of sediment and nutrient entering a wetland.
Protection of Endangered Ecological Communities and Wetlands
To assist in the protection of Endangered Ecological Communities, Council has adopted The Comprehensive Development Control Plan 2013.
Council objectives are:
- to protect and improve biodiversity across the City of Botany Bay
- to protect the identified Endangered Ecological Communities
- to protect Wetlands in the City of Botany Bay from inappropriate development by preventing and/or regulating developments that have the potential to fragment, pollute, disturb or diminish the values of wetlands
- to protect, restore and maintain ecological processes, natural systems and biodiversity within wetlands of the City of Botany Bay
Properties that contain an Endangered Ecological Community under the Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 are required to undertake a Threatened Species Impact Assessment. Development Applications on properties that contain Eastern Banksia Scrub must demonstrate compliance with NSW Environment & Heritage ‘Best Practice Guidelines: Eastern Suburbs Banksia Scrub’.