The transmission network identified a non-operational area at Molong substation near Orange as a potential site for a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement to protect native flora and fauna.
Related article: Transgrid establishes Biodiversity Stewardship Agreements
Yura Ngura Indigenous advisory manager for Transgrid Sherrie Anderson said, “This project is not only helping protect the environment but is also part of our Stretch Reconciliation Action Plan to work with Traditional Owners to support Indigenous employment.
“Transgrid is committed to caring for Country and we consulted with Muru Mittigar and the Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council to help progress rehabilitation works at the Molong site and it’s really exciting to see this initiative underway,” she said.
Indigenous Social Enterprise Muru Mittigar will project manage the rehabilitation works and engage direct Indigenous employees from Orange Local Aboriginal Land Council to carry out ecological work.
Muru Mittigar technical manager Wayne Williams said, “It’s important for us to look at opportunities for Indigenous employment. It’s good that Transgrid have accepted the opportunities that Land Councils and Aboriginal companies are trying to do and they’re willing to move forward.
“We all have a common goal. It’s about caring for Country. If you could do this everywhere that would be absolutely wonderful.”
Work at Molong has begun with 15 plots marked out to assess different weed control methods.
“We have five plots being undertaken with fire management practices, five with pesticide weed spraying and five with natural re-growth, to compare the difference between the plots,” Williams said.
The rehabilitation work will continue into 2024. Once completed the Molong site will be revaluated for its potential to enter into a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BSA).
Related article: Transgrid invites landowners to join biodiversity program
BSAs will offset the biodiversity impact major transmission projects and provide opportunities to perpetually preserve biodiversity on large swathes of land.
Transgrid is finalising a BSA on an 8,700ha property in south-western NSW, which will ensure the protection of five threatened species and will become one of the biggest BSAs in NSW history.