Bob Brown Foundation lodges appeal against flawed Robbins Island wind farm approval.

Bob Brown Foundation has lodged an appeal in TASCAT against the flawed and incomplete planning approvals for the Robbins Island wind farm. The wind farm was approved by Circular Head Council subject to conditions set by the EPA. Bob Brown Foundation has been critical of the incomplete nature of the approval conditions, which rely heavily on incomplete data and the submission of future reports on matters critical to environmental impacts on threatened species.

“This approval is half-baked. They have approved the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere, in Australia’s most significant migratory bird flyway, without knowing how many turbines, the size of the turbines, the colour, the lighting or even where they will be sited. What exactly have they approved?” asked Bob Brown Foundation Campaigner Scott Jordan.

“The vast majority of issues affecting the over thirty threatened and migratory species utilising the island for breeding and feeding are deferred off to reports to be compiled and submitted after this approval. It makes a mockery of the public planning assessment system.”

“This is a bad project made worse by a system that has rushed an approval out the door without even basic information needed to assess its impacts.”
The EPA did, however, impose a condition requiring a five-month shutdown each year to protect the critically endangered Orange-bellied Parrot during its migration. Proponent ACEN has announced it will appeal against this condition. The Orange-bellied Parrot is one of five critically endangered species on the island. The other four received no protections in the approval.

The threatened species and ecological communities present on Robbins Island and on the mainland project area are:

Threatened vegetation community
Eucalyptus viminalis and Eucalyptus globulus coastal forest and woodland (DVC)

Threatened flora
Northern leek-orchid Prasophyllum secutum
Sun orchid Thelymitra Malvina mauvetuft
Lichen Parmotrema crinitum

Threatened terrestrial fauna
Tasmanian Devil Sarcophilus harrisii (EPBC Endangered, TSPA endangered).
Spotted tailed Quoll Dasyurus maculatus maculatus (EPBC Vulnerable, TSPA rare)
Green and Gold Frog Litoria aurea (EPBC Vulnerable, TSPA vulnerable)
Tasmanian Masked Owl Tyto novaehollandiae subsp. Castanops (EPBC Vulnerable, TSPA endangered)
Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax subsp. Fleayi (EPBC Endangered, TSPA endangered) and
White bellied Sea Eagle Haliaeetus leucogaster (TPSA vulnerable)
Grey goshawk Accipiter novaehollandiae (TSPA endangered)
Orange bellied Parrot Neophema chrysogaster (EPBC Critically Endangered, TSPA endangered) and
Swift Parrot Lathamus discolor (EPBC Critically Endangered, TSPA endangered)

Migratory and marine shore birds
Double-banded Plover Charadrius bicinctus (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Red-necked Stint Calidris ruficollis (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea (EPBC Critically Endangered, Marine, Migratory)
Red Knot Calidris canutus (EPBC Endangered, Marine, Migratory)
Far Eastern Curlew (umenius madagascariensis) (EPBC Critically Endangered, Marine, Migratory)
Sanderling (Calidris alba) (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Grey Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Sharp-tailed Sandpiper (Calidris acuminata) (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia) (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Hooded Plover (Thinornis cucullatus) (EPBC Marine)
Pied Oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris)
Sooty Oystercatcher (Haematopus fuliginosus)
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica) (EPBC Vulnerable Marine, Migratory)
Great Knot (Calidris tenuirostris) (EPBC Critically Endangered, Marine, Migratory)
Grey-tailed Tattler (Tringa brevipes) (EPBC Marine, Migratory)
Lesser Sand Plover (Charadrius mongolus) (EPBC Endangered, Marine, Migratory)
Red-capped Plover (Charadrius ruficapillus) (EPBC Marine)

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