Thevenard Island Remediation, Nurture in Nature, Chevron Australia, Nature Conservation, Mustafa Nassif
Building a Relationship with the Natural Cycles of Earth

March 2022 – While the demolition phase ends on the Chevron Operated Thevenard Island Onshore Decommissioning & Remediation project, Liberty Industrial’s team is ready to embark on the next phase for the Island – restoring the land to a condition compatible with the adjacent Nature Conservation Reserve.

The Island, which plays an important role in the protection of seabird and shorebird populations utilising coastal habitats, is host to more than 76 resident and migratory bird species and three species of sea turtle.

The sites’ status as a Nature Reserve and the abundance of flora and fauna has meant working on the Island hasn’t come without its challenges. The project has required extensive planning and despite designing a carefully considered project schedule that considered the island’s breeding seasons, planned work areas were inadvertently impacted by unexpected changes to fauna behaviour, including early gatherings of breeding birds.

The project team had to adopt several strategies including daily drone surveys of above-ground infrastructure, including the Communication Tower (featured above) and terminal tanks, which required careful monitoring to ensure no active bird nests were present prior to demolition.

Physical barriers were also created to prevent bird breeding activity in specific areas. When Caspian Terns started to look for sandy nesting locations in early May amongst scheduled work areas, the team distributed containers within the work zones to encourage the birds to move into areas that were safe for nesting, laying eggs and raising their chicks. This was successful and allowed for scheduled works to continue in the other areas.

Working on Thevenard Island has offered the project team a new appreciation for our natural habitat and the wildlife who call it home. While it has required a proactive approach and flexibility to deal with unexpected changes, the experience has highlighted the importance of planning work that accommodates – and aligns with – the natural cycles of the Earth.

Despite adding a unique complexity to remote working it was a once in a lifetime opportunity for Senior Project Engineer and avid photographer Mustafa Nassif, who has been eagerly documenting the birds in their natural habitat and learning more about each species that inhabits the island, if for only a short while.

Over the last 12-months, Mustafa has built quite a beautiful portfolio of photographic work. If you would like to share his experiences on the Island, head over to Mustafa’s Instagram and give him a follow.