Cape Otway Road Australia Project

The Cape Otway Road Australia (CORA) project will establish a world class facility that will be a major elite sports training and tourism drawcard for the South-west Barwon, Geelong & Surf Coast region. 

Our natural heritage team undertook a series of ecological investigations between February 2017 and September 2019 to address implications under Commonwealth and State environmental legislation, with a particular focus on ensuring legislative certainty under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservations Act 1999 (EPBC Act) and the Victorian Environment Effects Act 1978.  Our assessments included:


  • Vegetation mapping and habitat hectare assessments in accordance with the Victorian Guidelines for the removal, destruction or lopping of native vegetation (The Guidelines);
  • Targeted surveys for threatened species and ecological communities listed under the Commonwealth EPBC Act, the Victorian Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 and/or the Victorian Threatened Species Advisory Lists;
  • Detailed biodiversity offset investigations to address State planning policy;
  • Groundwater Dependent Ecosystem assessments.
An important aspect on this project was the provision of detailed advice on the measures requires to avoid and minimise potential adverse impacts on native vegetation to ensure the provisions of The Guidelines were actively achieves. In the course of delivering the findings of the ecological assessments, Ecology and Heritage Partners also provided several recommendations to mitigate impacts to the project, and ensure that it did not exceed the triggers that required the project to be assessed via an EES.

Our cultural heritage team are engaged to prepare a Cultural Heritage Management Plan (CHMP) to assess the presence, nature, and extent of any Aboriginal heritage, and provide management strategies for avoiding and minimising harm to Aboriginal heritage (under the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006). To date, desktop and standard (survey) assessments have been undertaken, as has consultation with the Registered Aboriginal Party, the Wadawurrung Traditional Owners Aboriginal Corporation. The team is also undertaking the preparation of a Historical Heritage Assessment (HHA), which assesses the presence and nature of any historical heritage for the project, protected and managed by the Heritage Act 2017 (for archaeological and State significant places) and the Planning and Environment Act 1987 (for places of local significance). These assessments are in progress, to be finalised prior to commencement of the development.

Further Information

To discuss your project or for further information about ecological assessments and biodiversity offsets, please contact our natural heritage team on 1300 839 325. You can learn more at the CORA website here.

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