Lotus Creek Wind Farm project update
Following a further six months of ecological studies and revision of the proposed wind turbine layout, the Federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment has deemed the new design for the Lotus Creek Wind Farm to be a 'controlled action' under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). This means that the proposal can proceed, and will require controlling provisions for key species and be subject to assessment and approval under the EPBC Act.
The new layout reduces the number of turbines by almost a third, from 81 to 55, and the size of the project area by more than 40%. It avoids priority habitat areas for koalas and greater gliders and requires minimal clearing. See the location page for a map of the revised layout.
Epuron’s proposal also includes a raft of measures to improve conservation efforts on the project site including monitoring local wildlife and sharing research data, providing funds to support koala conservation and supporting host landowners to improve koala habitat, control predators and maintain best practice fire management.
With the new design and commitments the project can achieve a net positive outcome for biodiversity in the project site including an increase in the size and quality of koala habitat and a reduction in bushfire risk.
The project's EPBC Act referral decision is available on the EPBC Act Public notices portal (reference number 2020/8867).
Respecting the Traditional Custodians
Epuron recognises the continuing connection that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to their land and acknowledges that the Lotus Creek Wind Farm project area is Barada Barna People and Barada Kabalbara Yetimarala People country. Lotus Creek Wind Farm is working with the site’s Traditional Custodians to establish agreements that ensure respect to traditional values and culture are upheld.
An Indigenous Land Use Agreement has been agreed with the Barada Barna native title party. The signing ceremony was held between Barada Barna and the Lotus Creek Wind Farm project team in February 2020. The project team is also working to establish agreements with Barada Kabalbara Yetimarala.
Epuron looks forward to ongoing positive working relationships with the site’s Traditional Custodians as important stakeholders of the project.
Read the full update here: