Environment and conservation

More than one third of the area of Clarence is natural bushland. This helps to make Clarence a special place to live. Along with 191 kilometres of coastline and the Meehan Range, a skyline reserve which runs right along the eastern shore of the Derwent River, the city of Clarence has a unique appearance. Almost everyone in Clarence lives in sight of a skyline or a foreshore reserve; from a sweeping vista to a glimpse from the front gate.Clarence City Council and the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment work in partnership to manage reserve land, wildlife, research and cultural heritage within the City. Landcare and Coastcare groups have been established in many parts of the City and these meet regularly for on-site activities.


Clarence is dominated by the Meehan Range which runs the full length of the City. The range has a maximum height above sea level of only 544m, and features numerous ravines and escarpments.

The range falls abruptly to the river in the west where there is a narrow coastal plain. To the east, the range gives way to more extensive lowlands which accommodate a range of agricultural activities.

There are two river systems, and a number of small watercourses, which drain to either side of the Meehan Range. The coastline, some 191km long, boasts some of Southern Tasmania's most popular recreational beaches.


The predominant vegetation of the Meehan Range, is the dry sclerophyll woodland. The balance of the Clarence landscape is typically open grass/crop land devoted to viticulture and a range of other agricultural activities.


Seven Mile Beach Drainage and Groundwater

William C. Cromer Pty Ltd was engaged to report on groundwater at Seven Mile Beach and make recommendations to Council on actions to address and mitigate potential flooding due to groundwater table rise.  Mr Cromer has produced a report which further analyses groundwater levels and based on the findings in the report, Mr Cromer made a series of recommendations.  Council, as part of its 2012-13 Operating Plan, has set aside funds to implement these recommendations with the following specific works to be undertaken in the Seven Mile Beach Township this financial year;

  • Install an underground pipe inLewis Avenueat the corner of Woodhurst Road to prevent the need of installing a road hump if pumps are required again;
  • Construct a gravity stormwater pipeline from the Lewis Avenue/Woodhurst Road intersection across the Royal Hobart Golf Club practice fairway to Council land in the Acton Creek tributary. (This is subject to agreement with the Royal Hobart Golf Club).
  • Install additional bores as per the Cromer Report (these have already been installed);
  • Undertake extended monitoring of all bores in the Seven Mile Beach Township; and
  • Develop a numeric groundwater model for the aquifer underlying the Seven Mile Beach Township.

In addition, Sloane Geoscience Pty Ltd was engaged to monitor the groundwater quality in the township; with particular emphasis on assessing any impacts from domestic wastewater systems.

A copy of both these reports are available to download below:

The details of the recommendations from Mr Cromer’s report “Groundwater Level Monitoring 4th Progress Report July 2012” along with Council’s response are shown in ATTACHMENT 1 - Groundwater Level Monitoring 4th Progress Report(10 kb).  As part of the original 2010 report there was a recommendation to undertake a benefit/cost analysis of permanent pump stations to lower ground water.  In order to determine if benefits would accrue it was necessary to obtain more data on the groundwater system and in particular how it responded to rainfall events.  Essentially the numerical groundwater model was developed to provide some additional certainty in determining which options will give the best result in terms of lowering groundwater during extreme events. 

Mr Cromer has now completed a further report “Seven Mile Beach Groundwater Level Monitoring 5th Progress Report, March 2013” which updates groundwater level monitoring results at Seven Mile Beach since June 2012.  The report details:

  • the installation of two extra water level data loggers in new bores 15d and 16 at the south western end of the Royal Hobart Golf Club eastern soak in November 2012,
  • the relationship between rainfall and surveyed water levels in monitoring bores and soaks,
  • the relationship between rainfall and groundwater levels in the Royal Hobart Golf Course eastern soak,
  • the relationship between rainfall and water levels at the mouth of Acton Creek,
  • results of November 2012 drilling near the Royal Hobart Golf Club eastern soak,
  • the results of a seven day pump test of the eastern soak in early December 2012, during which time about 3.3ML of water were discharged to Acton Creek, and
  • the results of March 2013 sampling and analysis of water in Acton Creek.

A separate accompaniment to Mr Cromer’s report is the “Seven Mile Beach Groundwater Model Report, February 2013” produced by Mark Hocking which describes the development of the Seven Mile Beach groundwater model. 

A copy of both these reports are available to download below:

In summary the findings of the latest monitoring and modelling reports are:

  • Flooding at Seven Mile Beach is caused by a mixture of:
    • rapid increase in groundwater levels due to short-term high intensity rainfall events,
    • low lying flat land,
    • a shallow groundwater system and
    • the slow rate of fall in groundwater levels of about 2 millimetres/day.
  • Direct rainfall is the primary contributor to groundwater level, and evapotranspiration is the primary method for decreasing the groundwater levels,
  • Mean annual simulations show flooding is not a regular issue,
  • One management activity alone is unlikely to stop flooding,
  • Constantly lowering of the Royal Hobart Golf Club soak via pumping is a cost effective means of lowering the groundwater level in the area most effected by flooding,
  • Anticipated sea level rise (0.3m by 2050) will raise groundwater level.  The impact will extend inland approximately 300 metres and cause the backup of water in Acton Creek, and
  • Dams do not contribute to flooding issues at Seven Mile Beach.

Following the development of the groundwater model and the finding that lowering of the Royal Hobart Golf Club soak via pumping is a cost effective means of lowering the groundwater level in the area most effected by flooding Council is now finalising the design details for the pump station and associated rising main from the Royal Hobart Golf Club soak to the Acton Creek tributary.  The works involve:

  • Installation of a pump station at the Royal Hobart Golf Club soak;
  • Installation of a pump station in the vicinity of the Lewis Avenue/Woodhurst Road intersection, and
  • Construction of a rising main from the Royal Hobart Golf Club soak to connect to the pump station in the vicinity of Lewis Avenue/Woodhurst Road intersection and then to the Acton Creek tributary.

It is anticipated that works will commence in late April subject to weather and availability of plant and equipment to undertake the project.


Weed Management

Weeds are undesirable plants growing in the wrong place that have a negative impact on the landscape where they reside. These impacts include:

  • Degrading the natural values of an area
  • Displacing native flora and fauna species
  • Threatening agricultural productivity,
  • Decreasing public amenity
  • Posing a health and safety risk to humans
  • Livestock and other animals
  • Generate an increased fire risk to vegetation and property

The control of weeds requires a lot of time, energy and money. By managing and containing the spread of existing weeds and preventing new weeds from establishing as a community we can reduce the future costs of weed management.

How did they get here?

Most of our weeds originate from other parts of the world with similar climatic conditions and latitudes such as South Africa, Mediterranean Europe, New Zealand, South America and North America. Environmental weeds can also be Australian plants growing outside of their natural range.

Weeds are generally well-adapted to the local conditions, thrive on disturbance, reproduce profusely and have good mechanisms for dispersal and establishment in new areas.

How are they spread?

Weeds are spread to new areas via a wide range of activities including:

  • Poor vehicle and machinery hygiene e.g. slashers and mowers
  • The dumping of garden waste
  • The planting of invasive ornamental garden plants
  • The movement of animals, vehicles and people through weed infested areas\
  • The movement of soil through civil construction works
  • Birds eating the fruit and depositing the seed in their droppings
  • Wind carrying air-borne or tumbleweed seed
  • Through the movement of water

Declared weeds and the Weed Management Act 1999

Land owners and land managers are responsible for managing declared weeds on their property under the Weed Management Act 1999.

Declared weeds are weeds that have been listed under the Weed Management Act 1999 and have a legal status that requires land owners and land managers to contain and control; or eradicate them according to the Statutory Management Plan for that particular species. A list of declared weeds for Tasmania can be found here and declared weeds and prioritisation within Clarence specifically can be found in appendix 4 on pages 58-60 of the Clarence Weed Strategy 2016-2030.

Environmental weeds are weeds that are not declared under the Weed Management Act 1999 but are still a threat to natural values in particular natural bushland areas. In the Clarence Weed Strategy 2016-2030 environmental weeds that threaten the natural values of Clarence are listed as the Clarence Local List (CLL). CLL species can be found in appendix 3 on pages 56 and 57 of the Clarence Weed Strategy 2016-2030.

Weed management prioritisation on Council-managed land

Council manages and prioritises weeds across its bushland reserves, parks, public open spaces and road reserves within the Clarence municipality in accordance with the Clarence Weed Strategy 2016-2030 and requirements of the Weed Management Act 1999. Declared weeds are given a priority rating based on their occurrence and distribution within the municipality; and whether management is aimed at control and containment or eradication. Environmental weeds from the Clarence Local List (CLL) are prioritised based on the context where they occur and the potential to impact on natural, social and economic values of the area. Council also works in conjunction with other land management agencies and private land owners in managing priority weeds across the landscape.

Volunteers defending Clarence from the threat of weeds

There are 23 Landcare and Coastcare groups that volunteer their time toward the removal and eradication of environmental weeds from natural bushland and coastal reserves within Clarence municipality. Click here  to get involved.

Identifying weeds in the Clarence municipality

Natural Resource Management South’s Weeds of Southern Tasmania – A Guide to Environmental and Agricultural Weeds of Southern Tasmania is an excellent resource for identifying a range of weeds in southern Tasmania and the Clarence municipality. Hard copy versions can be obtained from the Council chambers or posted out to interested landholders as requested to assist in weed identification.

Alternatively, the Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment have a weeds index of both declared and environmental weeds with information to assist in identification.

Control of declared and environmental weeds

For control advice of any declared or environmental weed please contact Council’s Weeds Planning Officer Alister Hazeldine on 62179727 or email ahazeldine@ccc.tas.gov.au; or visit the Tasmanian Government Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment website to access Control Guides and Herbicide Guides for many declared weed and some environmental weed species. If using herbicides remember to follow all safety directions and only use the product according to the label.


More information

To get involved in the care of our natural areas in Clarence, you can contact Phil Watson, Natural Resources Management Officer, via email on pwatson@ccc.tas.gov.au or Chris Johns, Natural Areas Volunteer Coordinator via email on cjohns@ccc.tas.gov.au. Alternatively, phone 6217 9500.