Revision of initial layout
Further investigations to inform redesign
Epuron referred the initial turbine layout for the prospective Lotus Creek Wind Farm to the Commonwealth under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act) for guidance on environmental impact assessment requirements.
After reviewing the proposal, the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, advised that part of the site is important habitat for koalas and the Greater Glider, and therefore the design was not acceptable as proposed.
Project manager Jessica Picton said minimising impact on the natural environment is a priority for Epuron, and the company welcomes guidance on this from the Commonwealth.
“We appreciate the necessity to preserve species habitats, particularly for koalas following the devastating impacts to key populations from bush fires earlier this year. Our project teams and consultants make every effort to investigate key species and habitats within or near proposed project sites, and to work around them to mitigate impacts.”
Since receipt of the Department’s advice Epuron’s consultants have conducted further onsite surveys and investigations to guide a redesign of the layout, including removal of turbines located within key areas to mitigate impact to critical habitat.
"The goals of developing Queensland’s and Australia’s renewable energy capacity and protecting local wildlife are both critically important, and require careful planning and management,” said Ms Picton.
The layout revision is due to be completed before the end of this year, and the updated design will be referred to the Commonwealth and submitted to the Queensland State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA) for planning assessment requirements.