Environment

Nexus makes every effort to minimise the environmental and community impacts of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing through the responsible and efficient use of natural resources.


We will:

  • maintain strict environmental controls for all works, staff and contractors
  • work with Traditional Owners to identify and protect culturally significant artefacts and places
  • design and implement site specific erosion and sediment controls to protect water quality, riparian vegetation and aquatic habitat in nearby waterways
  • prevent the spread of weeds through the project corridor and local area
  • reuse cleared vegetation for landscaping and fauna habitat.

Environmental design

The Toowoomba Second Range Crossing features a number of environmentally-friendly design elements. These include:

  • a minimised vegetation clearing footprint
  • fauna passages
  • retrofitted culverts for fauna
  • fauna fencing
  • assessment of all waterways and water courses to ensure compliance with the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF) and Department of Natural Resources and Mines (DNRM) guidelines.

Managing impacts

All elements of the project’s design, construction and landscaping are being developed with environmental sensitivity in mind. This is critical to minimising the impacts of a large scale project such as the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing.

Flora and fauna
Impacts on flora and fauna across the alignment will be carefully managed through a range of measures.

During construction, this will include:

  • conducting flora and fauna surveys prior to works to identify habitats
  • clear marking out of habitats and ‘no go’ zones
  • limiting clearing to the construction footprint and access tracks
  • fauna spotter-catchers onsite before and during works
  • daily pre-clearing monitoring for wildlife and protected flora
  • staged clearing to create connectivity for relocation of fauna and to maintain habitat links
  • relocating fauna, in particular the Delma torquata (Collared delma)
  • collecting seeds to be reused in landscaping and compensatory revegetation works
  • placement of ancillary activities such as haulage routes, site offices, storage and stockpiling areas as far as possible from areas of remnant vegetation, waterways and good quality habitat
  • creation of temporary fauna escape routes and fish passages
  • proper disposal of weeds and ongoing maintenance
  • planting enhanced habitat and food sources for native animals through revegetation and rehabilitation
  • reuse of cleared vegetation for landscaping and fauna habitat.

Air quality
Air quality along the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing may be impacted by any action or activity that generates dust or excess emissions, including vegetation clearing, earthworks, bridge works and concreting.

Specific mitigation strategies to maintain air quality include:

  • undertaking dust monitoring
  • careful selection of machinery and planning activities to ensure minimal construction impacts where possible
  • covering truck loads when leaving site
  • using street sweepers on local roads
  • using water trucks and water sprays to suppress dust
  • restricting high risk activities in extreme weather events (very strong wind, hot dry conditions).
Toowoomba-Second-Range-Crossing-dust-suppression

Water truck on Toowoomba Second Range Crossing construction site.

Noise management
Constructing the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing will create localised noise impacts, most noticeable for adjacent residents. Nexus is committed to undertaking regular noise monitoring in sensitive areas across the alignment and ensuring noisy works occur between standard daylight hours from 6.30am to 6.30pm.

Additional noise management strategies include:

  • using low noise emitting equipment where possible
  • using noise dampeners
  • limiting use and hours of noisy equipment
  • ensuring proper equipment maintenance
  • locating noisy equipment away from sensitive areas
  • establishing natural and artificial enclosures
  • screenings to reduce noise transmission staging works to minimise noise.
Toowoomba-Second-Range-Crossing-noise-monitoring

Project noise monitoring in action.

Vibration management
While minor vibration impacts are expected during construction of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing, the following measures will minimise disturbance to the community and environment. These include:

  • undertaking necessary vibration monitoring in sensitive areas
  • selecting appropriate machinery and equipment for project works
  • using bored piles instead of driven (hammered) piles, where possible
  • undertaking rock hammering within standard daylight hours, where possible
  • using ripping or rock grinding techniques instead of hammering at cut locations.
Toowoomba-Second-Range-Crossing-Blasting-monitoring

Controlled blasting monitoring.


Our environmental commitments

Nexus is committed to delivering the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing in a responsible and sustainable way by:

  • minimising pollution of land, air and water
  • using pollution control equipment and keeping it in proper working order
  • ensuring minimal impact on the natural and cultural heritage environment
  • notifying authorities in relation to Aboriginal cultural heritage and historical cultural heritage discovery
  • minimising the occurrence of offensive noise
  • keeping the community informed of project milestones, upcoming activities and timings
  • complying with all regulatory permits and approvals
  • continuously improving environmental performance.

Collared delma translocation program

In an Australian first, Nexus has relocated a protected species to an area outside the clearing and construction footprint of the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing project as part of a Department of Environment and Heritage Protection approved ongoing scientific monitoring program.

The Delma torquata, or Collared delma, is a small legless lizard identified in a number of locations on the Toowoomba Range. As a result of its very specific habitat requirements and fragmented distribution, the project team worked to ensure further habitat loss was minimised.

Intensive investigations were undertaken to identify Collared delma microhabitat along the project corridor, with specimens collected by ecologists and moved to a soft release area.

This technique enabled animals to spend time in an outdoor enclosure, become familiar with the release area and aware of the activity of other wildlife in the area.

Following a successful pilot study, the project team commenced the main translocation program. Collared delma were collected from areas of proposed impact and moved to one of four translocation areas located within offset properties adjacent to the approved works area.

While the translocation of other delma species has previously occurred in Australia, this is a first for the Collared delma.

Under the Australian Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Convservation Act (EPBC Act), all translocated Collared delma will be monitored over a two-year period and key learnings adapted into future environmental management plans. This information will also be used to enhance our understanding of this little understood reptile.

Collared delma Annual Compliance Report, May 2017

Toowoomba-Second-Range-Crossing-Collared-delma

Collared delma, a protected species found in the project area.


Environmental factsheets