Transgrid has announced that it will be partnering with First Nations group Muru Mittigar for a biodiversity project to protect key endangered vegetation in the Central West region of New South Wales.
The transmission network identified a non-operational area at Molong substation near Orange as a potential site for a Biodiversity Stewardship Agreement (BSA) to protect native flora and fauna.
Transgrid Yura Ngura Indigenous Advisory Manager, Sherrie Anderson, said that this project is not only helping protect the environment but is also part of the company’s 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,” Ms Anderson 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 that it’s important to look at opportunities for Indigenous employment.
“It’s good that Transgrid has accepted the opportunities that Land Councils and Aboriginal companies are trying to do and that it is willing to move forward,” Mr Williams said.
“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,” Mr Williams said.
The rehabilitation work will continue into 2024. Once completed the Molong site will be re-evaluated for its potential to enter into a BSA.
BSAs will offset the biodiversity impact of 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 southwestern New South Wales, which is designed to ensure the protection of five threatened species and will become one of the biggest BSAs in the state’s history.
Featured image: The Molong rehabilitation site. Image credit: Transgrid.