We understand that the land we own and develop exists within an ecological context that extends beyond our site boundaries. Our forthcoming residential community of over 1,600 residences at Newport (Qld) is being developed on land with little ecological value. However, it is located adjacent to the 110,000 hectare Moreton Bay Marine Park wetland of international significance (as specified in the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands).
The wetlands reserve includes different habitat types such as ephemeral freshwater wetlands, paperbark woodland and casuarina forest, intertidal mudflats and saltmarsh communities, and mangrove communities which are significant wader bird roosting areas. Bird spotters have identified 197 bird species inhabiting the area in or near wetlands. The area is also home to koalas, greater gliders, grey headed flying foxes and native orchids.
Given Newport’s location adjacent to such an environmentally sensitive context, we maintained existing water flow regimes in the design of the masterplan to minimise impacts on local wetland water cycles. We also provided for a buffer area between the urban boundary and the wetland to reduce disturbance to migratory and wader birds.
We will be reconstructing and rehabilitating ecological drainage corridors through landscape management, and will reduce pollution through strategic installation of gross pollutant traps. Our work on biodiversity in and around Newport enables our development to have a positive overall impact on biodiversity value (score of +3.08).
In recognition of the opportunity to use Newport to further enhance its environmental context, the project is committed to ongoing protection and monitoring of the Ramsar wetland. We recently awarded a $30,000 contract for litter collection and monitoring associated with the environmental management of the wetlands. Monitoring results will be used to build a greater understanding of wetland conditions and how Newport can support its local ecosystem.