COASTAL WATTLE MANAGEMENT - LONG BEACH report to Council Nov 28th
This report is to provide information on the completion of the grant funded project from the
NSW Environmental Trust’s Restoration and Rehabilitation Program titled
Long Beach Coastal Wattle Management. This project commenced in 2013 and has recently been completed and reported to the NSW Government. The Office of Environment and Heritage has undertaken project evaluation of the environmental success of the works.
There has been strong interest with the environmental, social and scenic values of the Long
Beach dune system since the development of the area. Coastal wattle has been of interest to
the community at Long Beach for a lengthy period of time and there are varying views on the
matter. It was first reported to Council in 2008 (E08/4) and thereafter there have been multiple
reports, studies and correspondence related to the appropriateness or otherwise of coastal
wattle on the dunes in Long Beach.
Council has undertaken studies and works consistent with legislative requirements and in
consultation with the NSW Government and Long Beach community representatives. The
project activities were consistent with the Long Beach Coastal Wattle Strategy (Strategy) which was completed with grant funding in May 2010 and reported to Council in June 2010 (PS10/03).
The Strategy presented options for management of the coastal wattle. Prior to the
commencement of the project an Implementation Plan and a Property Vegetation Plan were
required to enable the works to be undertaken that: were consistent with the
Strategy;relevant legislative requirements at the time; and to achieve sound environmental outcomes.
The project involved protecting and recovering native vegetation and habitats through the
strategic removal of coastal wattle, and revegetation activities and weed management in the
Long Beach area.
The aim was to improve biodiversity in an environmental sensitive coastal zone where the
growth and spread of coastal wattle has occurred developing a monoculture. Overall the
project did not achieve this outcome due to the inability to establish tertiary plants such as
Banksia and Eucalyptus species. The project did achieve a number of positive outcomes including: Working relationships between Long Beach Landcare and the Long Beach Community AssociationVolunteer hours contributed were significant Usage of mechanical machinery, the tritterer, was highly effective and cost efficient in pruning the coastal wattle with minimal impact on the dunes Natural regeneration on the site was good with a prominence of grass species Weed and rabbit control has been effective The project was implemented in a staged and considered approach with the view to determine the success or otherwise of the coastal wattle removal and the impact on the dune system. The evaluation of the project by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage indicates that whilst the project has led to positive environmental and social outcomes, limited improvements to the overall biodiversity of the area have been achieved. The project objective of limiting the expansion and landward migration of coastal wattle has been addressed over the project period with the removal of approximately 0.54ha. However, limiting the continued landward migration of coastal wattle without the need for ongoing control in the longer term has not been achieved due to the inability to establish tertiary vegetation to restrict the natural expansion. RECOMMENDATION THAT Council 1.Assist Long Beach Landcare and Long Beach Community Association to continue maintenance of the coastal wattle by: (a)Ongoing coastal wattle removal on the northern side of the walking track (b)Coastal wattle removal 2 metres either side of the beach access tracks (c)Maintaining the current line of containment of the coastal wattle 2.Continue weed and pest animal control throughout the reserve. 3.Support Long Beach Landcare in planting additional native species (including tall growing shrubs and trees) at the western end of the reserve (Trial Area 1). No taller species are to be planted in front of houses.