Comments on this assessment closed 26 August 2020. The text and documents below remain available for reference only.
About the nomination and assessment
Each year on behalf of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment invites public nominations for items that merit listing as threatened under national environment law. The “Plains Mallee Box Woodland of the Murray Darling Depression and Riverina Bioregions” was originally nominated, under the name Ridged Plains Mallee Woodland, for listing as a threatened ecological community and prioritised for assessment in 2015. The Committee’s assessment and advice to the Minister for the Environment is due by 30 September 2020.
Proposed Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
Distribution: South-west New South Wales, north-west Victoria, and south-east South Australia.
Invitation to comment
The EPBC Act requires the Threatened Species Scientific Committee to undertake public consultation on nominations accepted for a full scientific assessment. The Committee particularly seeks comments on whether the ecological community is eligible for listing under the proposed conservation status, but also invites other relevant comments and information.
How can I get involved?
Read the consultation documents
The draft scientific assessment, in the Draft Description and Listing Assessment document, concludes that the ecological community is likely to be eligible for listing as Critically Endangered, based on evidence that it has undergone a very severe decline in geographic distribution, and has a very restricted (highly fragmented) geographic distribution, coupled with many demonstrable threats throughout its range; and a very severe reduction in integrity due to threatening processes. This has affected ecological processes and resulted in a subsequent decline and/or change to flora and fauna within the ecological community.
DRAFT Description and Listing Assessment for the Plains Mallee Box Woodland of the Murray Darling Depression and Riverina Bioregions (PDF - 1.7 MB) - updated 30 July 2020
DRAFT Description and Listing Assessment for the Plains Mallee Box Woodland of the Murray Darling Depression and Riverina Bioregions (DOCX - 1.45 MB) - updated 30 July 2020
A Consultation Guide for Landholders, including an indicative distribution map, is also provided to help the public understand what the Plains Mallee Box Woodland and listing of ecological communities under the EPBC Act means for people who may have the ecological community on their property.
Plains Mallee Box Woodland – Consultation guide for landowners (PDF - 1.37 MB) - updated 30 July 2020
Plains Mallee Box Woodland – Consultation guide for landowners (DOCX - 2.17 MB) - updated 30 July 2020
Guidelines for Nominating and Assessing Threatened Ecological Communities
The Guidelines for Nominating and Assessing Ecological Communities are also available to explain the criteria and concepts by which an ecological community can be determined as threatened in a particular conservation category.
Send your comments
The Committee welcomes the views of experts, land and water managers, Traditional Owners, other stakeholders and the general public on the Draft Description and Listing Assessment document for the ecological community.
The public consultation period closes on 26 August 2020.
A set of Questions to guide your comments is also provided, below.
You are welcome to forward this request to advise other relevant key people or groups in your networks about this opportunity for comment. We would greatly appreciate your help to get input from other agencies and groups involved with biodiversity conservation, land management, primary industries and planning.
Questions to guide comments
- Does the description in the Draft Description and Listing Assessment document clearly and accurately describe the proposed ecological community, including its distribution? If not, how should it be amended, in particular to help with on-ground identification and management?
- Are the lists of characteristic plant species accurate? If not, what species should be added or removed?
- What other animals are characteristic of the ecological community and how do they contribute to or utilise its resources?
- Are the key diagnostic characteristics sufficient to identify the ecological community and differentiate it from other ecological communities in the region? If not, how should they be modified?
- Information on the key threats to the ecological community is provided in the Draft Description and Listing Assessment document. Are the key threats that are currently affecting the ecological community, or threats likely to affect the community in the future, adequately identified? If not, please provide further information, along with sources for your information.
- Are you aware of additional data or other clear evidence of these threats and their likely impacts on the ecological community in the immediate, medium or long-term future?
- The Draft Description and Listing Assessment document concludes that the ecological community is likely to be eligible for listing as Critically Endangered. Do you agree? If not, what do you propose is the appropriate conservation category for the ecological community, and what evidence do you have to support this in relation to the six regulated listing criteria?
- Do you have any further comments or information about the ecological community that should be considered for the listing assessment?
Please support your comments with information and data, preferably supported by published studies or observations. If some of that information is not published, would you be willing to be quoted as an expert or source (“personal communication”)?
Please use the contact details, below, if you want more advice or help about this assessment. If you wish to comment, please send your comments quoting the ecological community name to:
Mail: The Director
Ecological Communities Section
Department of the Environment and Energy
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Privacy and confidentiality in regard to comments received
Submissions received will be forwarded to the Threatened Species Scientific Committee and, subsequently, to the Minister for the Environment.
Information contained in any comments will be stored and used by the department in compliance with its obligations under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
If you wish your comments to remain confidential, you should clearly mark the relevant part(s) of your comments as ‘confidential’. Notwithstanding any obligations of confidentiality, the department may be required by law or parliamentary process to disclose, or allow disclosure of, any information contained in or relating to any comments (including personal and/or confidential information), including in response to a request by a House or a Committee of the Parliament of the Commonwealth or under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth).