What We Do

Ecoplanning was founded in 2014 by Lucas McKinnon, Director, Principal Ecologist and Accredited NSW Biodiversity Assessment Methodology (BAM) Assessor. Building on an accomplished career in ecology, planning and biodiversity offsets, Lucas’ vision was to bring together an expert team big enough to perform – yet small enough to deliver superior personal service.

Bruce Mullins, also a Director, Principal Ecologist and Accredited BAM Assessor, joined Ecoplanning soon after. Bruce brought with him extensive knowledge and experience, which included 13 years as Manager of Ecology and Assessment at one of Australia’s peak nationwide ecological consultancies. As an experienced manager and mentor Bruce helps to educate, guide and support the next generation of ecologists and planners.

Lucas and Bruce share a philosophy of hard work. They provide expert, solutions-focused advice to achieve the best outcomes for Ecoplanning’s clients and the environment. Since its inception, Ecoplanning has gone from strength to strength to become a trusted adviser to a broad client base, highly sought after for our comprehensive knowledge and expertise in the fields of ecology, offsets and planning. As an organisation we have comprehensive experience assessing the wealth of biodiversity that NSW has to offer, across every region of the state.

All of our senior ecologists have more than 10 years experience in the consulting industry. The seniors work closely with newer team members to ensure our work is accurate and presented to the highest standard.

Ecology

Ecoplanning are a team of highly trained ecologists, with extensive experience surveying and classifying flora and fauna. Our staff have post-graduate qualifications in the study of plants, birds, insects, reptiles and aquatic environments.

Ecological knowledge and understanding grows day by day. To stay current with advances in our areas of interest, our staff foster strong linkages with research institutions and government agencies, enabling them to apply the latest data and methods to our projects.

Ecoplanning ecologists have the skills to undertake short or long term, monitoring programs, or to apply scientific analysis to almost any ecological question. Whatever your project, we can design an approach to satisfy your requirements and budget.

Services include:

  • Targeted flora and fauna surveys
  • Biodiversity monitoring programs
  • Fish habitat assessment
  • Landscape function analysis
  • Pre-clearance surveys
  • Floristic and biometric data collection
  • Population and density estimates

Planning

From granny flats to mining activities, development is governed by layers of legislation, regulations and plans at all three levels of government. At Ecoplanning, our team of professionals understand the planning system and are well respected within industry and government. We have a strong track record of successfully assisting our clients to navigate the regulatory system in an expedient manner.

We work closely with our clients and approval authorities to deliver practical and mutually acceptable outcomes. When mutually acceptable outcomes can’t be reached, our senior and principal ecologists have experience providing evidence on behalf of our clients through the Court process .

Services include:

  • Flora and Fauna Assessments (FFAs), Biodiversity Assessment Reports (BDARs), and Biodiversity Certification Assessment Reports (BCARs)
  • Ecological Constraints Assessment (Due Diligence Reports)
  • Riparian assessment
  • Landscape, conservation and species management plans
  • Expert witness services in the NSW Land and Environment Court and Supreme Court

Offsets

Biodiversity offsets compensate for loss of natural environment resulting from development at a particular site. The establishment of offsets involves identifying and supporting the impacted community type at a separate more viable location. These sites are funded, protected and maintained in perpetuity using legally binding covenants. Biodiversity offsets are firmly embedded in the planning framework as they represent a cost effective and streamlined path to planning approval.

We also have significant experience in biodiversity certification in NSW. Biodiversity certification balances the needs of development and environment at a landscape scale early in the planning phase. The benefits of this approach include those highlighted for biodiversity offsetting along with negating the need for future individual site assessment.

Our team understands the NSW offsetting market and has had extensive involvement in the development of pragmatic biodiversity offset strategies for NSW and Commonwealth planning approvals, using various schemes and methodologies.

Methodologies applied include:

  • Biodiversity Stewardship Site Assessment Reports (BSSARs) applying the NSW Biodiversity Assessment Methodology (BAM)
  • NSW Biodiversity Certification Assessment Method
  • Commonwealth Offsets Policy and Bi-lateral Agreements
  • Biodiversity credit trading and advice
  • Biodiversity Offset Strategies
  • Biodiversity Stewardship Feasibility Studies and building a Business Case

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