Following the July 2021 Council meeting, Council has determined it will release information relating to the Stockman Agreement, which was the subject of a confidential Council Meeting in April 2014.
This is available by clicking here
The documentation relates to a vegetation offset at Dinner Plain.
WHSP Stockman Pty Limited is a subsidiary of Round Oak Minerals Pty Ltd, which itself is owned by Australian ASX listed company Washington H. Soul Pattison Pty Ltd.
It should be also noted that at the July 2021 Council meeting, Council agreed that it would grant Round Oak a six months’ extension to the Completion Date for the Stockman Heads of Agreement.
This will allow sufficient time for the orderly and considered completion of the remaining activities required prior to entering into a Landowner Agreement.
Lots 1, 2 and 3 at Dinner Plain were purchased by Council in 2012. The land was purchased for opportunity and recreational development purposes.
The land hosts significant and high value species, particularly within lot 3 which contains significant vegetation communities along the headwaters of the Victoria River.
In 2013, Council was approached by the Independence Group NL (IGO), which was proposing to carry out underground mining operations to source copper and zinc from two prospects located approximately 19km southeast of Benambra, within the East Gippsland Shire.
As part of the proposed operations, IGO identified the requirement to remove of 0.41ha of Sub-alpine Wet Heathland or Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens.
This vegetation community meets both the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation EPBC Act 1999 listed ‘Alpine Sphagnum Bogs and Associated Fens’ ecological community and also the floristic community 'Montane Swamp Complex' which is listed under the Flora Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (FFG).
Both State and Commonwealth legislation requires that an offset is established to compensate for the loss in biodiversity value when native vegetation is removed. An offset is delivered by protecting and managing native vegetation at an offset site.
This protection and management improves the security and condition of the native vegetation, resulting in ‘gain’.
This gain is used to meet the offset requirements when native vegetation is removed. In this case, because the proposed removal of native vegetation is deemed to have a significant impact on the habitat for a rare or threatened species, a 'species offset' is required, where an equivalent habitat is required to be protected and maintained.
IGO sought to enter into a commercial arrangement with Council through which an offset site would be established on Council land in Dinner Plain to offset the loss of vegetation at the site of the proposed IGO operations in East Gippsland.
Following the acquisition by WHSP Stockman Pty Limited of the Stockman Project from IGO in December 2017, an Assignment Deed was signed through which the benefit of the Heads of Agreement was unconditionally assigned from IGO to WHSP Stockman Pty Alpine Shire Council. WHSP Stockman Pty Limited is a subsidiary of Round Oak Minerals Pty Ltd, which itself is owned by Australian ASX listed company Washington H. Soul Pattison Pty Ltd.