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Keywords:

  • completion criteria;
  • mine revegetation;
  • restoration;
  • vegetation condition

Summary

A quantitative ‘scorecard’ is essential to provide both mine regulators and managers with a robust way of assessing what is ‘good’ vegetation rehabilitation and whether it is adequate to satisfy the regulatory and legal requirements of mine closure criteria and community expectations. The BioCondition framework (Eyre et al. 2011a, http://www.ehp.qld.gov.au/ecosystems/biodiversity/biocondition.html) was applied as a scorecard to evaluate vegetation rehabilitation using largely locally native species at Meandu coal mine in Southeast Queensland. Benchmarks for vegetation condition attributes were developed from an amalgam of local reference vegetation types. To allow the appropriate, rather than aspirational evaluation of restoration for sites that were < 50 years old, the scoring system was adjusted to exclude the large trees and coarse woody debris attributes. Bearing in mind that assumptions of self-sustainability will depend on the ‘fit’ of species to the local condition and the ongoing management of the communities, the use of spider web diagrams assists mine managers and regulators to clearly see where future management intervention can increase the BioCondition score.