July 14, 2010

Management of Bertya sharpeana (Bertya “Mt Coolum”) population in
powerline corridor at Mount Coolum

Bertya sharpeana is known only from Mount Coolum on the Sunshine Coast, at its
southern limit to its contiguous distribution. It is listed in Schedule 4 (Rare Wildlife) of
the Queensland Nature Conservation (Wildlife) Regulations 1994. Attempts to
cultivate have not been successful and it is not held in any Australian Botanical
Garden. Its restricted distribution and isolated occurrences means that it is likely to
become Vulnerable without great care taken to conserve current populations. The
occurrence of Bertya shapeana in the powerline corridor has been confirmed with a
sample sent to the Queensland Herbarium.
A bushy shrub or small tree (from 0.4 to 4 m in height) with short, distinctive oval
leaves with curled margins arid furry surfaces, Bertya sharpeana is suitable to
conserve below the high tension lines as it will remain low in the open conditions
resulting from the management of the corridor.
Management Recommendations
• Where growing amongst thick Lophostemon confertus saplings we propose
that the area is treated with a careful cut and paint of the L. confertus
saplings, done by hand and conserving the Bertya sharpeana. Other
environmental weeds are managed with similar methods at the same time.
• The height and spread boundaries for the Bertya sharpeana in relation to the
power lines is determined by Energex and the the population monitored by
Energex, Maroochy Shire Council’s Bushland Management Officer and
Coolum District Coast Care. If the population nears these limits these groups
shall consult and agree on the appropriate management.
• The area is permanently marked with brightly painted metal posts.
• The area is registered and signed as significant road reserve vegetation.
• The area is noted and registered by Energex as a significant area in the
appropriate management system.
• The area is monitored by Coolum District Coast Care and Maroochy Shire
Council at yearly intervals
This control method will probably reduce the long-term maintenance costs and labour
of this area. The treated brushbox stumps will not re-shoot with rapidly growing
epicormic growth as is currently occurring. Further, brushbox recruitment will reduce
as higher numbers of Bertya shapeana establish and compete. The much more
slowly growing Bertya sharpeana tends to be at the lower end of its size range in the
open, such as in the area below and immediately adjacent to the powerlines, and
their presence, displacing the brushbox, will result in much lower on-going
management requirements in the long term.