Protecting the Endangered Ormeau Bottle Tree Proves Successful at Ormeau Quarry
Boral has been highly commended by Cement Concrete & Aggregates Australia (CCAA) for their innovative efforts in preserving the rare and ancient Ormeau Bottle Tree at their Ormeau Quarry in Queensland. This recognition supports Boral's ongoing commitment to local long-term sustainability and the environment in and around our facilities.
The Ormeau Bottle Tree is a unique species that is endemic to the Upper Ormeau Valley, and is only found within a six-kilometre geographic area. The main threat to the species typically comes from urban sprawl, bushfires, weeds, and the unregulated off-road leisure activities of visitors to the area. To enhance and preserve the Ormeau Bottle Tree for future generations, Boral has been partnering with the Northeast Albert Landcare Group (Landcare) to improve the local ecosystem by rehabilitating the upper reaches of the Pimpama River.
In 2005, Boral established a “community liaison group” which still provides a forum for discussing and sharing information with the local community. Two of the long-term goals identified, where Boral could assist the local Ormeau community included, creating a continuous riparian zone along the upper reaches of the Pimpama River, and supporting Landcare by establishing a permanent base for the group in the nearby area. Boral provided Landcare with a dwelling close to the quarry known as, Darlington Conservation House and the Boral Environmental Reserve, covering approximately three hectares. The area has been set aside as a recreational community space that allows for conservation activities, it also serves as a meeting point for many other community groups to facilitate various environmental programs.
In 2006, Boral established a 77-hectare Environmental Offset Area (EOA) in order to reinstate the site’s natural remnant status. An Environmental Offset Management Plan (EOMP) further detailed a range of best practice rehabilitation measures to ensure a self-sustaining area and high-quality ecosystem that accommodated the needs of the Ormeau Bottle Tree, along with fauna corridors for koalas and flying foxes. Since then we’ve seen the EOA and EOMP contribute to the improvement of the broader ecological environment within the Upper Ormeau Valley, serving as a sanctuary for native wildlife, and helping to control weeds and reduce the risk of bushfires.
Landcare organises planting days throughout the year with financial support of Boral along with the in-kind donation of plants endemic to the area and mulch. Boral, along with North East Albert Landcare Group, and Healthy Land and Water regularly organise site visits within the EOA to facilitate detailed tree surveys of the existing Ormeau Bottle Trees and seedlings. The results from these surveys has confirmed the success of the Ormeau Bottle Tree Program. In addition to the original 220 adult trees that were discovered, a further 500 juvenile trees have also been identified.
Over the years the partnership has delivered excellent environmental and community outcomes, successfully rehabilitating the upper reaches of the Pimpama Creek. The implementation of best practice rehabilitation measures means that this protected area will achieve remnant status by 2026.
The ongoing partnership between Boral and Landcare, now exceeding 30 years, has not only achieved the original goal of preserving the Ormeau Bottle Tree, but has also resulted in the continuation of a riparian zone, and the creation of the Boral Environmental Reserve. The partnership is an excellent example of how industry and community organisations can work together to ensure the realisation of positive outcomes for the environment and local communities.