Robbins Island sits at the end of one of the busiest migratory bird flyways, making it the worst possible site for what is pitched as the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere.
This proposed windfarm would see 122 turbines erected over the island habitat. Each tower would be 270 metres tall with a rotor sweep of 220 metres, making them the largest turbines ever built on land.
Robbins Island is a haven for shorebirds. More shorebirds nest and breed on Robbins Island and the Robbins Passage than the rest of Tasmania combined. Some of these birds migrate from as far away as Siberia, Alaska and Korea, and Australia has signed treaties pledging to protect these birds on their Australian journey and stay. Some come to breed here, others breed in the northern hemisphere and come here to feed over the northern winter. Many of these species are also listed as threatened under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Robbins Island is home to breeding populations of Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle and White-bellied Sea Eagle. Both eagle species are endangered and wind farms and associated transmission lines have become a major cause of eagle mortality over the past two decades. Proponent ACEN wants to place paltry 1km ‘buffer zones’ around eagle nests leaving eagles exposed to their turbines as they fly and hunt over the rest of the island. Eagles breed for life, and so the loss of any eagle is the end of breeding potential. Robbins Island is also identified habitat for Tasmanian Masked Owl and White Goshawks.
Robbins Island’s separation from the Tasmanian mainland has allowed the population to remain free of the deadly Tasmanian Devil Facial Tumour Disease. This disease-free population will be impacted by the loss of habitat from clearing for turbines and the 93 kilometres of service roading. The fleet of vehicles that will be constantly traversing the island during construction will result in a surge in roadkill in what has until now been a relatively safe population.
As part of the project, 212 metres of causeway and a 1290 metre concrete bridge will span the gap between the island and mainland Tasmania. The bridge will need 170 concrete piles that, in concert with the causeway, will permanently alter the shallow flows in the important Robbins Passage fish nursery. The bridge and causeway will also impact ecologically important seagrass beds, saltmarsh and tidal flats in the passage.
176 species of fish have been found in Robbins Passage.
Marinus Link will open the door to an avalanche of unnecessary, biodiversity destroying, industrial power projects across Tasmania. Join our campaign to Sink the Link!
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