Our capacity to provide timely and relevant advice to clients is enhanced by our ability to provide services at all phases of a project - from pre-feasibility through to design, construction, operation and ultimate closure. Typically our expertise is employed in baseline ecological surveys, impact assessments, the management of compliance issues, approvals and specifications, and in implementing environmental management programs.
NRA has provided services to the private, public and community sectors at strategic and operational levels since 1984, and our specialist environmental expertise has been acknowledged by the pre-qualifications and panels that NRA serves on. Click here for more information
Specialists in environmental regulatory compliance and management of natural resources, NRA Environmental Consultants provides assessment and management services for
Planning and Approvals
NRA’s consultants have a detailed understanding of the development approvals required under Local, State and Commonwealth legislation. This means the burden of acquiring approvals is managed by NRA, freeing the client to focus on project development and delivery.
- Advice to clients on the regulatory process
- Strategic planning and assessment of critical project timelines
- Conduct or coordinate studies required to provide supporting information for approvals
- Preparation of documentation for statutory approvals
- Consultation with regulatory agencies and other stakeholders
- Negotiation of development and licence conditions
Auditing and Compliance Assessment
NRA has undertaken numerous audits for clients in various industries in Australia and internationally. We conduct audits against Commonwealth and State legislation and operational audits involving assessment of documentation, systems and field operations against licence conditions and best practice environmental management.
- Third party compliance audits (Commonwealth and State approvals, environmental authorities)
- Environmental Management System audits
- Due diligence audits
- Erosion and Sediment Control Plan audits
- Construction Environmental Management Plan audits
- Site Based Management Plan audits
- Energy audits
- Environmental Audits
- NPI and NGER reporting
- Sustainability studies
- Financial Assurance calculation
- Plan of Operations
- Receiving Environment Monitoring Programs (REMP)
- Environmental Evaluations
- Environmental Investigation
- Environmental Protection Orders
Environmental Impact Statements (EIS)
NRA has undertaken Environmental Impact Statements/Assessments/Studies across a variety of terrestrial and marine environs and development types. Our longevity and breadth of technical expertise across environmental disciplines mean that NRA has accumulated knowledge and experience across wet and dry tropic regions (from northern Australia, the Torres Strait and Southeast Asia).
NRA’s experience with EIS encompasses knowledge and skills gained from working in sectors such as:
- resource development (mining, gas)
- utilities (water, wind, electricity)
- telecommunications (optic cables, transmission towers)
- transport infrastructure (road, rail, ports)
- land development (residential, tourism)
Our scientists regularly work with State and Commonwealth agencies in a consultative capacity on behalf of our clients or directly as technical advisers.
- Negotiation of terms of reference and study scoping
- Project management and coordination of Environmental Impact Studies
- Conducting specialist surveys or assessments
- EPBC Act referrals
- Assessment of conservation values and significant residual impacts
- Biodiversity offsets
- Preparation of management plans
- In-house technical studies
Flora and Fauna
One of NRA’s core strengths is its team of ecological specialists. Our skills base allows NRA to provide quality baseline or routine fauna and flora assessments including targeted species studies.
- Baseline and targeted flora and fauna surveys
- Threatened species surveys and management plans
- Regional ecosystem (RE) mapping and verification
- Threatened ecological community identification and threat assessment
- Weed surveys and management plans
- Feral animal surveys and management plans
- Long-term monitoring programs of threatened fauna
- Biocondition assessment
- Environmental offsets
- Riparian health assessments
- Urban wildlife surveys and management plans
Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality
NRA provides specialised aquatic ecology and water quality assessments to a wide range of sectors including mining, linear infrastructure, Defence assets, government departments and property developers. We deliver targeted assessments to provide value for money while delivering the information required to inform management decisions.
- Receiving Environment Monitoring Programs (REMP)
- Impacts assessment
- Environmental investigations
- Negotiation of water quality and sediment licence conditions
- Development of site-specific water quality trigger values
- Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) identification
- Aquatic ecology surveys
- Fish surveys
- Stygofauna surveys
- Frog surveys
- Water and sediment quality assessments
- Catchment management
- River improvement plans
- Riparian condition and reach assessment
NRA pioneered the use of aquatic ecosystem monitoring for the minerals sector in Queensland. We have continued investment in this field with the development of services such as ecotoxicology.
Our team has extensive experience in deriving site-specific regional and national water quality guideline values using reference chemistry and ecotoxicology data. These guideline values are used alongside published values to interpret water quality, stream sediment and biological data-sets.
Our scientists have been involved in assessing the potential impacts of discharge waters from mining operations on receiving waters.
- Design, implementation and interpretation of ecotoxicology studies
- Derivation and application of water quality guidelines
- Application of sediment quality guidelines
- Integration of water quality and biological effects (aquatic ecology and ecotoxicology results)
- Assessment of bioavailability of contaminants
- Statutory environmental investigations and evaluations following significant incidents
Soil Survey, Land Suitability and Soil Management
NRA undertakes soil surveys, soil resource assessments and soil quality assessments for a range of purposes including project planning and approvals, environmental investigations, operational monitoring or rehabilitation research and implementation.
Our expert team has a broad range of knowledge and experience assisting clients from the mining and petroleum, infrastructure, property development, agricultural and government (Commonwealth, State and Local) sectors.
- Soil survey, land capability and suitability assessments
- Soil resource assessment, soil stripping and topsoil management advice
- Acid sulfate soil assessment and management
- Soil erosion hazard assessment
- Erosion and sediment control planning and auditing
- Soil constraints analysis
- Soil management and amelioration
- Rehabilitation and revegetation planning
- Effluent irrigation feasibility, planning, management and monitoring
- Waste application to land
Land Rehabilitation and Revegetation
NRA’s multidisciplinary team of soil, earth and ecological scientists has a wealth of experience and expertise in characterising materials and developing rehabilitation strategies that maximise the likelihood of success.
The reinstatement of pre-disturbance ecosystems, however reasonable the aspiration, is rarely achievable. Viable functioning vegetation communities that provide valuable ecosystem services can be created on disturbed landforms. NRA has developed detailed and innovative policy initiatives and supporting technical specifications relevant to land use, revegetation and rehabilitation, and mitigation of long-term impacts on downstream receiving environments that address real world practicalities of land resource management.
NRA’s expertise and practical application were recognised when it was commissioned to prepare the Benchmarking Rehabilitation Standards report (for activities associated with mining, petroleum, quarrying and municipal landfills) for the Queensland Government.
- Pre-disturbance soil resource surveys and materials characterisation
- Identification and management of revegetation constraints
- Post Mine Land Use Plans
- Rehabilitation planning
- Closure planning
- Development of realistic completion (success) criteria
- Rehabilitation monitoring
- Research and development
- Rehabilitation manuals and specifications
- Seed collection and storage advice
- Nursery and propagation management
- Species selection
- Integration of Indigenous knowledge
NRA leads detailed geochemical investigations into acid mine drainage issues including the geochemical characterisation of waste rock, other waste materials and seepage. NRA staff are familiar with the internationally accepted testing standards documented in the GARD Guide, and we work with colleagues who are technical specialists in this field. NRA provides waste rock and seepage management advice including treatment, handling and placement.
- Waste rock and tailings characterisation
- Acid mine drainage assessment and management
- Neutral and saline mine drainage assessment and management
- MEDLI modelling
- Seepage characterisation and fingerprinting
- Geochemical speciation modelling
- Application of Control Charts to groundwater monitoring
- Environmental incident investigations
- Acid sulfate soils assessment and management
- Soil chemical limitations to rehabilitation (metal bioavailability, sodicity or salinity)
- Soil, sediment and water chemistry
NRA has worked in the discipline of sustainability since our establishment in 1984.
NRA developed an in-house environmental management system and subsequently co-authored a sustainability delivery system (Global Review Service). NRA used this experience when we were commissioned to conduct the first community-driven sustainability assessment of a mining operation in Queensland. This included the first community-driven external audit and reporting of a mining operation and an annual Health Safety and Community Report.
Below are some examples of this work:
- Mining Environment and Sustainability Review
- Lao PDR Mining Sector Social and Environmental Sustainability Review
- Sugar Mill Co-Generation Feasibility Project
Expert Witness and Advice
NRA has provided expert witness services and expert advice on technical matters to various clients from the private and public sectors. Below are some examples of this work:
- Erosion and sediment control matters at False Cape, Cairns.
- Presence of essential habitat for the Black-throated Finch, for the Commonwealth.
- Cassowary habitat at Mission Beach, for the Commonwealth.
- Cassowaries and Cassowary habitat at Mission Beach, for the State of Queensland.
- Unplanned releases of mine waters, for the State of Queensland.
- Rehabilitation Plans and Financial Assurances, for the State of Queensland.
A secondment provides an opportunity for our clients to have an environmental professional on-site for a nominated period. NRA has provided support services of this type for our long-term clients.
- Short-, medium- or long-term secondments
- Incorporating compliance reporting with on-site secondment
- Training of site personnel
- Implementation of specific programs (eg Environmental Management System)
- Temporary replacement of staff
- Targeted projects with client personnel