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Check out Inland Rail’s project fly throughs to help you visualise the project, which includes models of where the track alignment will pass through and what these environments look like from above.
Watch the video below, which introduces you to the basic principles behind conducting a biodiversity assessment.
Going forward, these are the factors that you'll be assessing to determine how they impact the overall project plan.
Being an environmental planner means considering more than just the conservation of animals and nature. For example, during a cultural heritage walk-through, you might come across a an Aboriginal artefact scatter or a scarred tree that sits along your proposed alignment route. Scarred trees, like the one in the image below, are often over 100 years old and are considered markers of Aboriginal history and culture.
Discovering endangered species of flora or fauna in the area can also have repercussions on where infrastructure is built. Ensuring the protection of the environment and sustainable development is one of the most important roles of an environmental planner. It can also impact timeline and budget.
They are usually conducting in seasonal survey periods, to make sure there's a wholistic understanding of the area over the course of different seasons - for example, 3 survey periods across 12 months, with 2 weeks allocated per survey period.
Watch the video below, which outlines strategic conservation planning and how environmental assessments can impact your project.
An Aboriginal site survey can take up to 13 months.
You may need to consider offsetting or mitigation strategies (both of which will be explored next week!).
A consuming element of any project is the documentation and approval phase. Whenever you uncover new issues in your environmental assessments, you'll probably need extra time to gain extra approvals.
At every step of the project, remember to touch base with your project scope and objectives: do you have limited resources available? Does your budget allow for an extended timeline?