Tag Archives: State

Update 5: Australian sandalwood conservation

Sourced from: https://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/McGowan/2022/11/Community-invited-to-comment-on-sandalwood-management.aspx

Community invited to comment on sandalwood management

Friday, 4 November 2022
  • Public to shape how sandalwood will be conserved and protected
  • Helps sustain native species for future generations
  • Consultation period runs for six weeks until 9 December

Western Australians can now have their say on the conservation and use of sandalwood over the next five years.

The draft Sandalwood Biodiversity Management Programme aims to stabilise wild sandalwood and outlines how it can be sustained into the future.

Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) is a slow-growing tree found across 146 million hectares of the Wheatbelt, Goldfields, Murchison, Gascoyne and southern Pilbara. Extensive agricultural clearing has seen wild sandalwood dwindle over the past 200 years, particularly in the Wheatbelt. It’s also been impacted by illegal harvesting, pests, grazing and bushfires.

The draft programme prepared by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions sets out how wild sandalwood will be conserved, protected and managed, consistent with the requirements of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. It will not apply to plantation sandalwood.

The public comment period is open until 9 December. To have your say, visit http://www.dbca.wa.gov.au/sandalwood

Comments attributed to Environment Minister Reece Whitby:

“Sandalwood is a unique resource and we’re committed to protecting and sustaining this remarkable species for generations to come.

“This will apply to the management of wild sandalwood on both Crown and private land, but won’t apply to plantation sandalwood.

“Having your say will help us understand any industry or community concerns to help shape the management of this important native species.”

Update 1: GIS data for SA nature park outlines

Good Evening Michael,

Apologies for the length of time it’s taken to get back to you.

Since we last exchanged emails on this topic we have discovered there is a bit more to this issue than we originally thought.  We’ve engaged with the DEW Parks Marketing team to get a better understanding of the information that the department already provides to Google – this has helped to define the scope of what we need to consider.  Here is a summary of what we have uncovered.

Information Discovery

  • The department is already providing information to Google for high visitation parks through a Google Business Profile account.
  • The information provided includes:

o   park name

o   park address

o   contact phone number

o   opening times

o   web link to DEW Parks web site – eg Belair National… – National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia

o   an (XY) map coordinate to define the centroid for the park – for Google functions like display, zoom and obtaining directions

  • This is an example of the information for Belair National Park –  Belair National park – Google Search
  • An additional Google Map Content Partner account would be required to upload mapping data representing park boundaries to Google for inclusion on Google map products


  • The Google Business Profile and Map Content Partner accounts are not the same – we are not able to use the existing departmental Business Profile account to upload mapping data.
  • There is an overlap in the park information that can be provided to Google by each account – this means there is a potential to provide conflicting information for a park, unless there is careful curation of park information content.

o   For example, the use of park type abbreviations in the park name in our mapping layer is likely to be different to that required for public use, as currently delivered through the Business Profile account – some reformatting of park information will be required

  • As mentioned in our previous email, Google has published some guidelines defining the required format and structure of mapping data to be provided by a Map Content Partner account – Geo Data Upload Content Requirements – Map Content Partners Help (google.com).  For mapping data representing Parks and Protected Areas, our park mapping data will need to be translated to meet the guidelines below.  This will require an automated (scripted) translation process if were are to provide parks mapping data to Google on a regular basis.








Related Issue

  • We’ve also been informed of a related issue – there is a need to provide map coordinates to identify the main entrance / public access points for a park.  This is to help provide more accurate directions in Google maps.
  • At the moment the directions function in Google does not always guide visitors to the most logical access point for a park – see example below













  • In some cases this will require verification with regional parks staff to ensure we are providing up-to-date access information.

Next Steps

We’re currently looking to arrange a conversation with a Google contact so that we can discuss these issues and hopefully identify options for providing the required information (for both Parks Business and Mapping) in a coordinated approach – ideally without the need for overlapping accounts.

Thanks for your patience whilst we work through these issues.

Kind Regards,  Online Mapping Support

DEW Online Mapping

Department for Environment and Water

GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA 5001

Update 8: Aldinga Washpool

SA Government media release: https://www.premier.sa.gov.au/news/media-releases/news/aldinga-washpool-officially-saved-for-future-generations

Reproduced below:

21/01/2022 | Steven Marshall MP | David Speirs MP
A new 340-hectare park in Adelaide’s south is set to become a coastal environmental, recreational and cultural haven for generations to come, with the official proclamation of the Aldinga Conservation Park.

The Aldinga Washpool, one of Adelaide’s last remaining coastal freshwater and estuarine lagoon systems, has now been combined with the adjacent Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park to create the state’s newest conservation park.

Premier Steven Marshall said the proclamation was a significant milestone for the local community and supporters.

“By combining the Aldinga Washpool land with the nearby Aldinga Scrub Conservation Park it’s created a fantastic new ecological and cultural haven just south of Adelaide,” Premier Marshall said.

“This adds to my government’s commitment to protect our state’s natural environment by doubling the area covered by national parks, investing record levels of funding to improve conservation, increase visitor numbers and boost our regional economies.

“Importantly the Aldinga Washpool site is of considerable spiritual and cultural significance to the Kaurna people who today maintain their connection with Country.”

Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said the local community had long advocated for better protection of the site.

“In 2018, an Aldinga Washpool Working Group was established, and we have been working closely with this group to ensure the land’s environmental and cultural values are protected and restored,” Minister Speirs said.

“For years the future of the Aldinga Washpool was under threat so it’s incredibly pleasing for the local community to be able to see this important site saved for future generations.

“This further adds to our record expansion of area protected in South Australia, which has seen us increase the number of national parks across the state from 21 to 29 and double the area protected from approximately 3.90 million hectares to just over 7.9 million hectares.

“This record expansion is backed up by the biggest ever government investment in parks to boost conservation as well as improve our standing as a world-class eco-tourism destination

“Adelaide has been recognised as the third most liveable city in the world and it was recently named as the second-ever National Park City and our record expansion of parks and green space will only enhance this reputation.”

The Aldinga Washpool includes valuable habitat for at least 79 native species, including three bird species of national conservation significance. It is also home to swamp plants of conservation significance including threatened coastal saltmarsh.

Prior to European settlement, the Aldinga Washpool was an important place for curing and drying possum skins by the Kaurna people. It is also a significant site as part of the Tjilbruke Dreaming Trail and contains registered sites under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 (SA).

The land being added to the state reserves system in this proclamation includes a combination of land previously transferred from SA Water, the Coast Protection Board and the City of Onkaparinga.

The Department for Environment and Water, SA Water, Green Adelaide, City of Onkaparinga and other working group members have been working on flood mitigation, stormwater management, weed control, revegetation plans, water quality and protection of Aboriginal cultural heritage.

The proclamation of the Aldinga Conservation Park adds to the eight national parks created since 2018 including Glenthorne National Park, Hindmarsh Valley National Park, Munga-Thirri–Simpson Desert National Park, Nilpena Ediacara National Park, Wapma Thura – Southern Flinders Ranges National Park, Lake Frome National Park, Cleland National Park and Deep Creek National Park.

New map from the National Parks and Wildlife Service SA (also at: https://www.parks.sa.gov.au/park-management/aldinga-conservation-park)

Update 3: Australian sandalwood conservation

Michael Cornish
to: [email protected]
date: 22 Nov 2021
subject: Recommendation that Sandalwood be added to the priority flora list


Just in case the process has not been initiated, may I please recommend that Sandalwood be added to the priority flora list?

The basis for this recommendation comes from the attached correspondence between myself and the Chair of the WA TSSC.

Kind regards,

-Michael Cornish

Air Quality Monitoring

The same letter was also sent to the Shadow Minister for the Environment and Water, the Hon Susan Close MP.

The Hon David Speirs MP
Minister for Environment and Water
GPO BOX 1047


Dear Minister,

Re: State election commitments on Air Quality Monitoring

I write to you as a former Senior Policy Adviser to the Federal Member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie MP, with a keen interest in the environment and public health.

I note that there are currently no Air Quality Monitoring[1] sites in the Adelaide metropolitan area north or north-east of the Air Quality Monitoring site at Northfield, leaving large communities in the northern and north-eastern suburbs – including the marginal electorates of Wright and King, and to a lesser extent, Newland – without access to air quality data. Based on 2016 Census data, this area accounts for at approximately 348,000 people[2], which is over 26% of the 2016 population of metropolitan Adelaide[3]. Unfortunately, climate change is set to increase the prevalence and impact of bushfires and smoke, leading to an increase in community air quality concerns.

Air quality data is particularly valuable to vulnerable groups, such as the young, the elderly, and people with respiratory problems who can face life-threatening consequences from poor quality air. For example, an estimated 11% of the population have asthma[4], meaning there are an estimated more than 38,000 asthmatics within the north/north-eastern metropolitan Adelaide area, let alone other vulnerable groups.

Will your party commit to establishing an Air Quality Monitoring site in an appropriate location in the northern/north-eastern suburbs of Adelaide?

Further, will your party commit to this site measuring NO2, PM10 (1 hour), PM10 (24 hours), and O3 (1 hour) and O3 (4 hours), noting that this would simply mirror the monitoring undertaken at the southernmost metropolitan Adelaide monitoring site at Christies Beach?

Yours sincerely,

Michael Cornish

12 / 11 / 2021

[1] See: https://www.epa.sa.gov.au/environmental_info/air_quality/new-air-quality-monitoring

[2] 137,979 people in the City of Salisbury; 23,034 in the Town of Gawler; 97,734 in City of Tea Tree Gully; 89,372 in the City of Playford; see: https://www.abs.gov.au/websitedbs/D3310114.nsf/Home/2016%20QuickStats

[3] 1,295,714 people as of the 2016 Census in the Greater Adelaide, Greater Capital City Statistical Area; see: https://quickstats.censusdata.abs.gov.au/census_services/getproduct/census/2016/quickstat/4GADE?opendocument

[4] As per: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/chronic-respiratory-conditions/asthma/contents/asthma

Update 2: Australian sandalwood conservation

Michael Cornish
by email


Dear Michael

Thank you for your letter of 15 October, address to me as Chair of the Western Australian Threatened Species Scientific Committee at the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions. The Department forwarded your letter to me.

I did read the paper by Richard McLellan et al. when it was published. I can understand your concern.

The Western Australian TSSC reviews nominations that have been submitted to them for the listing of flora as threatened flora under the WA Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, in accordance with the provisions of the Act and Ministerial Guidelines. Members of the community may submit nominations at any time, following the Ministerial Guidelines, and using the nomination form available on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservations and Attractions (DBCA) web page, dpaw.wa.gov.au/plants-and-animals/threatened-species-and-communities/118-nominations.

As well as the list of threatened species, the WA priority flora list is a non-statutory list maintained by DBCA. Recommendations for addition to the priority flora list may be submitted to DBCA at any time, to [email protected]. Additions to the priority flora list do not require a nomination form. Priority list recommendations are not required to be submitted to or to be reviewed by the TSSC, although TSSC may make recommendations to DBCA on priority listings and DBCA may request TSSC advice on priority listings. Having a plant on the priority flora list does ensure that it is considered when environmental impact and other decisions are made, although that level of protection is not as high as threatened listing.

I am advised that a nomination for the listing of Australian Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) as a threatened flora species has not been received, nor has a recommendation been received for addition to the priority flora list.

As the species occurs in WA and South Australia, the assessment of a nomination must also follow the requirements for cross-jurisdictional assessments under the Intergovernmental memorandum of understanding – Agreement on a common assessment method for listing of threatened species and threatened ecological communities, awe.gov.au/environment/biodiversity/threatened/cam. While WA TSSC may review a nomination for a species that occurs both in WA and in anther jurisdiction, and can recommend listing to the state Minister, it is sometimes simpler to nominate such a species to the Commonwealth TSSC; however, you should note that they have priorities set by their Minister, and a nomination may not be considered for some time if it does not fit the current priorities.

If a nomination of species that occurs both in WA and outside WA is received by DBCA, it will be considered by the WA TSSC and after the state Minister makes a decision whether or not to list, it is then referred to the Commonwealth. Except for emergency nominations, WATSSC typically meets once a year and its recommendations go to the state Minister within a reasonably short time.

I suggest that your best course of action would be to, in the immediate future, recommend sandalwood to the WA Flora Priority List and then fill in a threatened species nomination form so that the TSSC may consider recommending listing.

Yours sincerely

Dr Andrew A Burbidge AO

9 November 2021

Update 1: GIS data for SA nature park outlines

24 August 2021

Good Afternoon Michael,

Thanks for your query to NatureMaps Support and our apologies for the length of time it has taken to get back to you.

In case you weren’t aware, the Department for Environment and Water makes some of its key spatial data layers openly accessible through the Data SA web site – Data.SA.  You can find a version of the NPWSA Reserves layer (ie South Australian reserves dedicated under the National Parks and Wildlife Act, Wilderness Protection Act and reserves for conservation purposes under the Crown Land Management Act) in the following location – Conservation Reserve Boundaries – Dataset – data.sa.gov.au.  This version of the data is equivalent to the NPWSA Reserves layer in NatureMaps – see screenshot below














The procedure for supplying data to Google has changed over the years.  Previously, Google acquired a series of Australia-wide foundation data sets (including parks and reserves) from a National mapping distributor.  These National mapping data sets were updated on a regular basis from authoritative data supplied from State and Territory mapping agencies.  Under this approach, there was a clear pathway to provide updated mapping data to national and broader mapping initiatives.

Google has since stopped acquiring Australia-wide data from this National mapping distributor and now seems to favour a different approach for updating data.

Looking at information online, Google now promotes a Google Maps Content Providers program – Google Maps Content Partners – Content Providers – Google Maps.  Map Content Partners can provide their own data to improve information displayed on Google Maps – it looks like Parks and Protected Areas are part of the data that Google will accept.

In order to submit mapping data under this partner program, Google has published some guidelines defining the required format and structure of the mapping data to be provided – Geo Data Upload Content Requirements – Map Content Partners Help (google.com).  For mapping data representing Parks and Protected Areas, partner data will need to adhere to the following guidelines.

Based on these guidelines, the South Australian NPWSA Reserves layer displayed in NatureMaps will require some “translation” to a data structure that will comply with the Google mapping requirements.  For this reason, it is probably best that this work is done by the department so that consistent routines can be established as part of a regular supply mechanism for Google mapping purposes.

We’ll coordinate with the department’s Parks and Communications teams to determine a way forward.

Thanks again for your interest.  Please let us know if you have any further questions.

Regards, NatureMaps Support

DEW Online Mapping

Science and Information Branch | Strategy Science and Corporate Services Division
Department for Environment and Water
81 – 95 Waymouth Street Adelaide, SA 5000
GPO Box 1047, Adelaide, SA 5001