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Environmental Protection Authority challenges decision on controversial Robbins Island Wind Farm

Pulse Tasmania
Robbins Island could soon be home to a 100-turbine wind farm. Image / Bob Brown Foundation.

The controversial Robbins Island Wind Farm project is facing another legal challenge as the state’s Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) plans to appeal a decision made by the Tasmanian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

The EPA had previously approved the project in 2022 on the condition that the developers agreed to shut down its 100 turbines for five months every year to protect orange-bellied parrots.


However, the developers, ACEN Australia, appealed the decision and had the condition removed in November of last year.

Three months on from the appeal decision, the EPA now claims ACEN failed to address clause 1.4.2 of the Tasmanian State Coastal Policy in their application.

Clause 1.4.2 of the Tasmanian State Coastal Policy stipulates that “development on actively mobile landforms such as frontal dunes will not be permitted except for works consistent with Outcome 1.4.1”.

The wind farm would include 100 turbines. Image / Stock

“The EPA Board was not aware of its legal obligations in relation to the application of clause 1.4.2 at the time it undertook its assessment and made its decision,” an EPA spokesperson said.

“The EPA Board received advice last week that it was required to have regard to clause 1.4.2 and in not doing so it had erred at law, and hence had no option other than to lodge the appeal.”

Outcome 1.4.1 states that “areas subject to significant risk from natural coastal processes and hazards such as flooding, storms, erosion, landslip, littoral drift, dune mobility and sea level rise will be identified and managed to minimise the need for engineering or remediation works to protect land, property and human life”.


The Bob Brown Foundation has endorsed the EPA’s move to protect dune ecosystems from what they say is a “destructive and unnecessary development”.

“Big corporations must not be allowed to ignore the rules. It is an important role for the EPA to be able to take cases like this where an approval clearly breaches environmental and planning law,” the foundation’s Scott Jordan said.

“The current Liberal Government’s fast-tracking of future wind farms as projects of State Significance will remove appeal rights giving a free pass to developers who ignore laws that protect our environment. Unfortunately, Labor has been urging the Liberals to go faster.”

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