Marine plants in Queensland are protected under the Fisheries Act 1994, which includes the protection of all marine plants, including mangroves, seagrass, salt couch, salt marshes etc. This act also controls activities such as the collection of dead wood and algae for aquariums hobby use.
Some low impact activities involving the damage of marine plants may be undertaken without gaining approval where they meet the requirements of the code prepared for self-assessable works. These requirements include limits on the areas to be disturbed and the nature of activities permitted. These activities are still subject to pre-works notification and on-site signage requirements.
Clearing of marine plants (including those associated with a Material Change of Use (MC), Reconfiguration of a Lot (RaL) or operational works) that does not meet a self-assessable code requires an approval under provisions of the Fisheries Act 1994 and the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA), will be assessed by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) through the State Assessment Referral Agency (SARA). Clearing of marine plants is required to meet section 5.3 of Module 5: Fisheries resources of the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP).
Permanent damage/clearing of marine plants requires detailed assessment of the communities, and will often require vegetation or financial offsets to mitigate against the damage.
Ecosure’s environmental consultants have dealt with many development applications involving marine plants and have the necessary skills to identify and map marine plants and prepare an assessment of impacts. If marine plants cannot be avoided, Ecosure can determine if it is necessary to provide offsets and what form these could take. We can also prepare responses to SDAP codes if the clearing of marine plants is required.
Further information on the protection of marine plants is available at:
Contact: Chris Pietsch 07 3606 1030 (Southern Queensland), Geoffrey Sinclair 07 4994 1000 (Central and Northern Queensland)