ResearchersWith all our projects and developments across the globe, Lendlease engages third-party independent experts to guide us in ensuring we deliver on our commitment to delivering sustainable environments and this is no different for our Mount Gilead development. Since 2015, we have engaged a range of independent ecologists, including koala species experts, from Eco Logical Australia, EMM Consulting, Ecological Consultants Australia and Turtle Rescue NSW.
Robert Humphries (Ecological Australia)In 2015, Robert Humphries at Eco Logical Australia was appointed as the independent statutory authority ecological expert on the development. Robert is an ecologist, environmental planner and project manager with more than 30 years’ experience. He has Bachelors and Masters degrees in Wildlife Management from 1985 and 1989.
Robert was the Manager of the Threatened Species Section of the NSW Department of Conservation and Environment for more than 10 years and has extensive experience of NSW Threatened Species and Environmental Planning legislation, Government policy, the biodiversity of the Greater Sydney and Hunter Regions and the former biodiversity certification and biobanking provisions. Robert has authored, co-authored or supervised the preparation of over 40 threatened species recovery plans, has had registered 31 BioBank sites, and has been engaged by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Department of Planning and Environment to develop policy and technical position papers and contribute to the development of the assessment methodologies currently used to assess biodiversity impacts in NSW.
It’s Robert’s opinion that Lendlease has taken all active steps to preserve and enhance the koala population at the Gilead development. It’s his view that our koala strategy is robust, informed by extensive ground-based biodiversity assessments and is consistent with best practice.
“It is my opinion, that the width and area of the identified corridors/offset areas, and the range of mitigation/management measures proposed, will in fact enhance the current koala population. The retained and improved habitat will continue to function and supplement the habitat available to the broader koala population providing opportunities for different parts of the broader population to interact and maintain gene flow between the Georges and Nepean River catchments. In my opinion, Lendlease’s conduct in developing Gilead is consistent with best practice and has taken all active steps to preserve and enhance the koala population.” – Robert Humphries (2019)
Robert Humphries CV
Dr Stephen Ward (ENM Consulting)
In mid-2019, Lendlease engaged Dr Stephen Ward, an associate ecologist with EMM Consulting (formerly with Eco Logical Australia), as an independent koala ecology expert for Stage 2 of our Mount Gilead development. He has a PhD in koala ecology completed in 2002, where he researched the abundance, habitat and tree use, home range size, health and management of the southern Sydney koala population (Ward 2002) which includes the South-Campbelltown population. Dr Ward also has several peer-reviewed papers in scientific journals on koala ecology, which are supplied.
Dr Ward identifies that the context of the site is important in understanding the Mount Gilead development. He highlights that the current site consists predominantly of disturbed vegetation used for farming (grazing) purposes, and that remnant vegetation across the site is predominantly restricted to drainage lines (creek lines), with isolated paddock trees. It is Dr Ward’s view that the Mount Gilead development proposes revegetation and rehabilitation works which will improve koala vegetation, in particular through identified creek line corridors. He also highlights that the development is currently at a master-planning phase, and subsequent detailed design will need to occur to manage bushland/urban interfaces. It’s Dr Ward’s opinion that Lendlease has demonstrated a willingness to implement all recommendations to achieve the best outcome for koala communities.
“The context of the site is important in understanding the Mount Gilead project. The current site consists predominantly of disturbed vegetation used for farming (grazing) purposes. Remnant vegetation across the site is predominantly restricted to drainage lines, with isolated paddock trees. Approximately 245 hectares of potential koala habitat has been mapped on site (Eco Logical Australia 2015). The Mount Gilead project proposes revegetation and rehabilitation works which will improve koala vegetation, through identified creek line corridors. Currently the development is at a master-planning phase, and subsequent detailed design will need to occur to manage bushland/urban interfaces.
In my view, a superior outcome for the koala communities will be realised if connectivity can be achieved. Lendlease has demonstrated a willingness to implement all recommendations to achieve the best outcome for koala communities. I will continue to provide advice as to how Lendlease can improve outcomes for the koala community at Mount Gilead.” – Dr Stephen Ward (2019)
Geraldene (Mia) Dalby-Ball (KINGFISHER URBAN ECOLOGY)In mid-2016, Lendlease engaged Geraldene Dalby-Ball to provide expertise in urban wetlands and waterways management. A graduate from The University of Sydney, with First Class Honors in Ecology, Geraldene has over 25 years’ experience in maximising outcomes for nature through linking and relating the ecological requirements, with key expertise is in urban ecology, riparian and waterway projects, salt- and fresh-water wetland design and rehabilitation.
Geraldene has worked with Lendlease and key design disciplines (engineering, water-cycles, archaeology, landscape, bush fire and more) to maximise the onsite creek-line corridors, keep water throughout the landscape, retain and bring nature back into the proposed residential areas in particular to work with the water management team and landscape team to ensure the landscaping is supportive and integrated with creek-line corridors and water management is as natural as practical while keeping water in the land and being able to be maintained long-term and to bring an understanding of the First Peoples care of the land and those connections of the plants, animals, seasons and places to keep these connections to nature and the stories of seasons alive and respected.
“At Mount Gilead, Lendlease goes beyond just meeting legal requirements, going well beyond to retain and bringing back natural areas by ensuring the whole project team is fully aware of the importance of environment and it's integration throughout all design and implementation stages. At times I wish everyone could be present in the planning meetings to hear the complexities of what's required from all disciplines when working on land releases and the steadfastness that Lendlease has to always bring solutions back to the environment. Every briefing and meeting with Lendlease reiterates that the environment is the first and most important layer of the Mount Gilead development.” – Geraldene Dalby-Ball (2019)
Kane Durrant (WILD Conservation/Turtles Rescue NSW)
Kane is a Fauna Management Consultant, owner of WILD Conservation and a partner and Project Manager at Turtle Rescues NSW. Kane specialises in freshwater turtles and by extension, wetland management and is one of only 18 Australian members of the esteemed IUCN Species Survival Commission - Tortoises and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group; collectively, the global authority on freshwater turtles.
A casual academic at UNSW where he is involved in Vertebrate Zoology and gives lectures on Australian Herpetofauna with a strong focus on the species that live in and around our wetlands and waterways. Kane is a committee member at the Australian Herpetological Society and the editor of the annual publication, The Red Bellied Courier.
Kane has a strong background in habitat creation and management of species both in captive and wild settings, is an expert animal handler who is licensed by NPWS to capture and relocate protected wildlife and manage their wild populations through our consultancy services. Specialising in wetland management, his team is diverse and works on a range of projects in a range of habitats
"It is my opinion that Lendlease are genuinely striving for sustainable development in this project at Figtree Hill. We have had several meetings with an advisory panel to formulate the Fauna Management Plan for the site and we are happy with the lengths that Lendlease are going to, to ensure that current species will not only remain in the area but also encouraging lost species to return once more. The building of permanent wetlands on the site brings great joy to our team and we look forward to working on the best design for the local biodiversity to thrive. This project should be the benchmark for future projects in development zones and will pave the way for an eco-friendly future, so our native flora and fauna can be enjoyed by generations to come." – Kane Durrant (2020)