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'Environmentally sustainable': EPA approves 47-turbine St Patricks Plains Wind Farm in Tasmania's Central Highlands

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Opponents of Central Highlands wind farm not happy as EPA approves project. Image / Stock

A proposed wind farm in Tasmania’s Central Highlands that could house up to 47 turbines has been given the green light by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA).

The St Patricks Plains Wind Farm, located north of Bothwell, would generate up to 300 megawatts of energy.


EPA Chair Andrew Paul said the board has imposed conditions that must be included in any permit granted by the Central Highlands Council after finding the project can be managed in an “environmentally sustainable and acceptable manner”.

“Various environmental issues were considered in the assessment, and a number of conditions have been imposed relating to management of eagle collision risk, avoiding and minimising impact on threatened natural values, operational noise management and avoiding impacts on groundwater and surface water,” Paul said.

The public consultation period for the project received 160 submissions, all of which are yet to be released, but contained concerns about impacts on eagles, noise and visual amenity.

The wind farm would include 47 turbines. Image / Stock

Among those opposed to the project include the ‘No Turbine Action Group’, a “research-based organisation” made up of around 270 people.

Chair David Ridley said they are seeking legal advice on the EPA’s “not unexpected” approval, having campaigned against the project for years.

“The wind farm covers 10,000ha and will have 231-metre high turbines both sides of gateway roads through the unique Central Highlands and is home to 32 threatened flora and fauna species,” he said.


“The area also contains 40 Tasmanian wedge-tailed eagles, which includes around 20 breeding pairs, 10 eagle territories and 17 eagle nests.”

Ridley said the EPA “has given approval to industrialisation of the Central Highlands”.

Members of the ‘No Turbine Action Group’. Image / Facebook

“Under the EPA decision Tasmanians can kiss goodbye the remote and unique Tasmanian sub-alpine landscape we love,” he said.

“We will have detailed look at the EPA decision, see what Central Highlands Council has to say and consider our next step.”

The proposal will now be considered by the council and federal government for further approvals.

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