Project Description

In 2017 Galaxia was engaged by a private developer in Hallam, Australia. Multiple objectives needed to be rapidly achieved for construction to proceed without delay. These included the identification of threatened Dwarf Galaxias (Galaxiella pusilla), approvals from the relevant authorities, planning the translocation of Dwarf Galaxias to the new habitat offset, as well as the review of on-site environmental parameters preceding construction.

Hallam is a developed suburb located 35km south-east from Melbourne’s central business district. In 2013, Dwarf Galaxias were discovered in vegetated channels bordering a proposed 6.6ha development site. As a vulnerable fish protected by legislation at the national and state level, this necessitated the submission and approval of a construction and conservation management plan before construction would be allowed to proceed.

Approvals were obtained from authorities such as the Victorian Fisheries Authority to translocate the threatened fish from the affected channels to the offset site/habitat. As per the management plan approved by the Federal Minister of Environment; an on-site assessment of environmental assets within and adjacent to the drainage channels were carried out, followed by a targeted presence/absence survey of Dwarf Galaxias using a hierarchy of survey methods (bait traps followed by dip-netting). The presence of Dwarf Galaxias was confirmed within the sub-catchment. The distribution of Dwarf Galaxias was mapped to facilitate efficient translocation once the offset habitat was constructed, vegetated and audited. 

This project would not have been possible without our valued colleagues at Dalton Consulting Engineers and Aquatica Environmental.

Site photos courtesy of Aaron Jenkins.