Bushrock removal - key threatening process listing

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Final Determination to list Bushrock Removal as a KEY THREATENING PROCESS on Schedule 3 of the Act. Listing of Key Threatening Processes is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

NSW Scientific Committee - final determination

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. Bushrock Removal is the removal of natural surface deposits of rock from rock outcrops or from areas of native vegetation. Native Vegetation means any of the following types of indigenous vegetation: trees, understorey plants, groundcover, and plants occurring in a wetland. This definition of native vegetation is consistent with the definition in the Native Vegetation Conservation Act, 1997. The rocks may be loose rocks on rock surfaces or on the soil surface, or may have been removed from rock outcrops by excavation or blasting.

2. Bushrock Removal, for the purposes of this final determination, does not include: the removal of rock from approved mining or quarrying activities; the salvage of rock where the removal of the rock is necessary for carrying out a development or activity with an existing approval under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act or the removal of rock from paddocks when it constitutes a necessary part of the carrying out of a routine agricultural activity.

3. Bushrock Removal is associated with further environmental degradation from use of vehicles or machinery, or fire.

4. Bushrock Removal is prohibited from National Parks and Wildlife Service estate and from Crown Land. However, illegal removal continues. Some local councils have included provisions regulating bushrock collection in Local Environmental Plans but there is no consistent approval process for Bushrock Removal from private land, and law enforcement on public land has not prevented continued collection.

5. Bushrock Removal removes and/or disturbs habitat of native species, which may find shelter in or under rocks, may use rocks for basking, or which grow in rocky areas.

6. Threatened species which are identified as being adversely affected by Bushrock Removal are listed below. As bushrock is habitat for these species the impact of any development activity must be assessed separately where these species are known or likely to occur.


  • Aprasia parapulchella - Pink-tailed Legless lizard
  • Dasyurus maculatus - Spotted-tailed Quoll
  • Delma impar - Striped Legless lizard
  • Hoplocephalus bungaroides - Broad-headed snake
  • Pseudophryne australis - Red-crowned toadlet
  • Suta flagellum - Little Whip Snake
  • Tympanocryptis lineata pinguicolla - South-eastern Lined Earless Dragon
  • Underwoodisaurus sphyrurus - Border Thick-tailed Gecko


  • Acacia bynoeana
  • Acacia gordonii
  • Boronia granitica
  • Darwinia biflora
  • Eucalyptus camfieldii
  • Kunzea rupestris
  • Melaleuca deanei
  • Micromyrtus blakelyi
  • Persoonia hirsuta
  • Pimelea curviflora var. curviflora
  • Tetratheca glandulosa
  • Velleia perfoliata

7. Examples of other species which may become threatened by continuance of the process include:


  • Anomalopus leuckartii
  • Cacophis squamulosus - Golden crowned snake
  • Egernia saxatilis ssp. intermedia - Black Rock skink
  • Hemicloea major - Rock spider
  • Oedura lesueurii - Velvet gecko
  • Phyllurus platurus - Southern leaf tailed gecko


  • Angophora crassifolia
  • Boronia serrulata
  • Eucalyptus leuhmanniana
  • Leucopogon fletcheri ssp. fletcheri
  • Lomandra brevis
  • Mirbelia speciosa
  • Platysace clelandii
  • Prostanthera howelliae
  • Tetratheca neglecta

The Committee noted that information on a number of species likely to be affected by Bushrock Removal is found in the Bushrock Removal Information Sheet prepared by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.

8. Rocks provide habitat for a diversity of bryophytes (mosses and liverworts) and lichens. It is possible that a number of species of these plants may be threatened by Bushrock Removal, as may invertebrate fauna associated with rocks which may be poorly known.

9. A Threat Abatement Plan could examine the need for consistently applicable regulation of Bushrock Removal, address the requirements for law enforcement, address the need for public education and examine the potential for rehabilitation of sites adversely affected by Bushrock Removal.

10. The information in 4, 5 and 6 above satisfies the requirements of both section 15(a) and 15(b) of the Threatened Species Conservation Act for the listing of Bushrock Removal as a key threatening process. The Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Bushrock Removal is eligible to be listed as a key threatening process because it adversely affects two or more threatened species and it could cause species that are not threatened to become threatened.

Proposed Gazettal date: 5/11/99
Exhibition period: 5/11/99 - 10/12/99