Minimising the cost of infrastructure development
How can planning new infrastructure be achieved more effectively, given the pressing concerns of environment and money? Can making a saving and ensuring environmental sustainability be a reality?
There are many hundreds of thousands of kilometres of infrastructure in Australia that allow for us to carry out everyday tasks that we take for granted. From driving along state roads to work to using water from our underground pipes, infrastructure is vital.
In the past few years, Natura Consulting has worked with a number of companies both in Australia and overseas, in countries like Brunei-Darussalam, to see infrastructural projects to fruition whilst minimising environmental impacts.
In this we have learned 3 valuable lessons to consider in planning for infrastructure:
- Invest in detailed ground-truthing to obtain accurate and detailed maps of the land the infrastructure will pass through. This will add strength to a likelihood analysis of the chance of threatened species being present in the area and will allow for reflection on the accuracy of government-mapped data which is often at coarser scales.
- Be open to varying options. Have a choice of Routes A, B, C, and a contingency plan to ensure that the cost of each is equated depending on the offset requirements of environmental legislation.
- Remove any ambiguity by employing specialised ecological consultants from the outset who can provide sound, rapid advice on the likelihood of environmental constraints. Ground-truthed data will allow them to complete accurate species and ecosystem surveys to determine which of your optional routes reduces constraints from government and will minimising construction costs.
We have done this before…
Natura Consulting recently applied our knowledge of environmental legislation to ease the instalment of a 100 km stretch of electrical transmission between Blythedale and Wandoan in the Surat Basin, central Queensland. Our team collected distribution and abundance data on threatened species and weeds (biosecurity) for properties along the 90 m wide easement and assessed fauna and habitat values. Our mapping and reporting helped direct construction and decision-making and saved the company time and money in reducing the impact of weeds on land-holder’s and Powerlink property.