City of Gold Coast

Degraded complex notophyll vine forest - RE 12.8.3, BVG1M: 2a [photograph by L Shoo]
Degraded complex notophyll vine forest – RE 12.8.3, BVG1M: 2a (photograph by L Shoo)
Over a quarter of Australia’s native forest and woodlands have been cleared since European settlement, and vegetation restoration is urgently needed to avoid further loss of species and ecosystem services (such as clean air and water). Through a collaborative project with City of Gold Coast we are developing new theory and methods to help environmental managers allocate restoration funds for vegetation recovery in a way that addresses the tensions between risk aversion and aspirations to maximise return on investment. In this project our restoration ecologists and decision scientists are partnering with natural area managers from the City of Gold Coast, to make public expenditure on restoration more effective, efficient and transparent.

Management decisions about where to undertake restoration work are complex. A summarised and simplified version of the problem of deciding on the locations for restoration work within the City of Gold Coast requires consideration of:

  • the annual budget
  • the internal resources that are available
  • the capacity of external resources
  • the capabilities of different restoration teams
  • choice of 258 work areas (approximately 1,500ha) within 800 conservation parks (approximately 12,494 ha), resulting in 363,605 different work area possibilities within the conservation estate
  • uncertainties about probability of success
  • uncertainties around recovery rates and how individual sites will respond to treatments
  • limited weed distribution data
  • a wide range of objectives, and
  • a range of treatment options

Assisted natural regeneration of degraded complex notophyll vine forest - RE 12.8.3, BVG1M: 2a [photography courtesy of The City of Gold Coast]
Assisted natural regeneration of degraded complex notophyll vine forest – RE 12.8.3, BVG1M: 2a (photography courtesy of The City of Gold Coast)
The aims of our collaborative ARC Linkage project is to:

  1. Develop and apply a formal process for specifying restoration objectives to replace ad hoc restoration decisions
  2. Develop a decision support tool that schedules restoration investment among different ecosystems through time while also considering uncertainty and risk
  3. Quantify trade-offs between restoration objectives

Our Linkage project involves collaboration between The University of Queensland, Griffith University and City of Gold Coast.

The objectives of the broader Linkage Projects scheme are to:

  • support the initiation and/or development of long-term strategic research alliances between higher education organisations and other organisations;
  • provide opportunities for researchers to pursue internationally competitive research in collaboration with organisations outside the higher education sector, targeting those who have demonstrated a clear commitment to high-quality research; and
  • encourage growth of a national pool of world-class researchers to meet the needs of the broader Australian innovation system.

People involved

Dr Luke Shoo, Konrad Uebel, Dr Angela Guerrero Gonzalez, Dr Gwen Iacona, Assoc. Prof. Kerrie Wilson [The University of Queensland]; Prof. Carla Catterall [Griffith University]

Research themes

Restoration prioritisation

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