Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion - Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 of the Threatened Species Conservation Act

NSW Scientific Committee

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Determination to make a minor amendment to Part 3 of Schedule 1 (Endangered ecological communities) of the Act by inserting the Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as described in the determination of the Scientific Committee under Division 5 Part 2) and as a consequence to omit reference to the Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion (as described in the final determination to list the ecological community) which was published on pages 6431 to 6434 in the NSW Government Gazette No. 133 dated 23 August 2002. Minor amendments to the Schedules are provided for by Division 5 of Part 2 of the Act.


The Scientific Committee is of the opinion that the amendment is necessary or desirable to correct minor errors or omissions in the Determination in relation to the Thackway and Cresswell (1995) reference.


The Scientific Committee has found that:


1. Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland is the name given to the ecological community found on outcrops of volcanic soils on dry rocky ridges in the Illawarra area (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion sensu Thackway and Cresswell 1995) and is characterised by the following assemblage of species:


Acacia mearnsii

Alphitonia excelsa

Bracteantha bracteata

Calandrinia pickeringii

Cheilanthes distans

Cheilanthes sieberi

Commelina cyanea

Commersonia fraseri

Crassula sieberiana

Dodonaea viscosa subsp. angustifolia

Hibiscus heterophyllus

Melaleuca armillaris

Plectranthus graveolens

Prostanthera linearis

Zieria granulata


2. The total species list of the community is considerably larger than that given in 1 (above), with many species present in only one or two sites or in very small quantity. In any particular site not all of the assemblage listed in 1 may be present. At any one time, some species may only be present as seeds in the soil seed bank with no above-ground individuals present. The species composition of the site will be influenced by the size of the site, recent rainfall or drought conditions and by its disturbance history. The number of species and the above-ground composition of species will change with time since fire, and may also change in response to changes in fire frequency. The community includes a diverse fauna, both vertebrate and invertebrate, but it is poorly known. The threatened species Zieria granulata is closely associated with Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland (Mills & Assoc 2000).


3. Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland may be up to about 5 m tall and is dominated by the large Paperbark shrub Melaleuca armillaris. It occurs in sites away from the coast on very dry rocky ridges, at Dunmore and in Jamberoo Valley on volcanic soils overlying latite, and in small patches near Killalea. Rock outcrops are common within the Community. Because the soils on which it grows are shallow and are unable to retain enough moisture, the shrubs may die back during drought. (Dense stands of M. armillaris on coastal headlands are not included within this ecological community).


4. Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland has been recorded from the local government areas of Shellharbour City, and Kiama Municipality (within the Sydney Basin Bioregion) and may occur elsewhere in the Bioregion. Bioregions are defined in Thackway and Cresswell (1995).


5. Small stands of Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland occur in Killalea State Park.


6. Many areas of Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland have been cleared. Most remnants are small and fragmented and their longterm viability is threatened. Threats include further clearing, grazing, including by rabbits, quarrying, inappropriate fire regimes, weed invasion, rubbish dumping, housing and hobby farm developments.


7. In view of the above the Scientific Committee is of the opinion that Melaleuca armillaris Tall Shrubland in the Sydney Basin Bioregion is likely to become extinct in nature in NSW unless the circumstances and factors threatening its survival or evolutionary development cease to operate.



Dr Richard Major


Scientific Committee


Proposed Gazettal date: 14/10/11

Exhibition period: 14/10/11 - 9/12/11


Note this ecological community was originally listed in 2002 as indicated in the determination




Kevin Mills & Associates (2000) Nature Conservation Study Rural lands study area City of Shellharbour (prepared for Shellharbour City Council).


Thackway R, Cresswell ID (1995) An interim biogeographic regionalisation for Australia: a framework for setting priorities in the National Reserves System Cooperative Program. (Version 4.0. Australian Nature Conservation Agency: Canberra.)


Page last updated: 14 October 2011