Project: Santos GLNG Project, Saipem Australia Pty Ltd
January – August 2014

Ausecology has been engaged by Saipem Australia to plant and maintain 70,000 local native tubestock into 50 sites located along the 420 km GLNG Gas Transmission Pipeline between Fairview and Gladstone. The plantings are restoring the stability and ecological function of the watercourses impacted by construction.
Each watercourse presents a range of operational challenges including steep slopes, variable soils, drought conditions and access constraints. Ausecology has overcome each challenge by developing innovative techniques such as:

  • Training our personnel in accredited 4WD and heavy trailer operation to enable them to safely access sites in difficult terrain;
  • Training our personnel in working at heights to enable them to use fall arrest harnesses and ropes to access steep unstable areas;
  • Setting up temporary irrigation lines and additional pumps to deliver water up to 400m away from the main tanks;
  • Installing water crystals and soil ameliorants to enhance water infiltration and retention around the plant root zone;
  • Maintaining flexible resourcing to optimise production during periods with unrestricted site access.

Average planting rate has exceeded 1,000 plants installed per day. All plants installed are chosen to suit microclimatic conditions on site, including placement of sedge species in poorly drained areas and hardier species more suited to free draining sites further up the banks. Sites are marked out prior to planting to ensure that trees are kept clear of the 10 metre pipeline protection zone in compliance with pipeline operational safety requirements.
Project outcomes include:

  • Successful establishment of all sites planted;
  • Achievement of minimum 80% survival rate;
  • Enhanced bank stability of reinstated watercourses;
  • Restoration and improvement of flora species diversity, habitat quality and riparian habitat connectivity.