Concern growing steadily

Concern growing steadily

Opposition towards UPC\AC Renewables Renewable Energy Park for Robbins Island has grown louder yet again over the weekend, with a community rally at the Montagu Campground attracting locals from all over Circular Head despite dreary weather.

The rally was organised by the Circular Head Coastal Awareness Network who have been the vocal opposition to the project since 2019.

Though the development application is not yet available for public comment, the project has evolved consistently in response, with the number and size of the turbines and the plans for a bridge across Robbins Passage headlining the major changes.

The CHCAN are seriously concerned about the impact that the project will have on bird life in the area and are supported in their angst by both Raptor Care and BirdLife Tasmania.

Adam Hardy, of the former, spoke at the rally on Saturday, citing that the one kilometre exclusion zone around each eagles nest on the island was not enough, with the original legislation having been written for the Forestry industry.

Dr Eric Woehler, who has verbalised his concerns about the site of the wind farm at CHCAN events in the past, was unable to attend the rally but submitted a letter to be read in his place by Rebecca Tyers.

“The Robbins Passage and Boullanger Bay wetlands are the most important area for shorebirds in

Tasmania, supporting more migratory and resident species than the rest of Tasmania

combined,” he said in his letter.

“The [wetlands] support internationally significant numbers of six species (three resident and three migratory species of shorebird) throughout the year, and it is critical to manage the area as an integrated system rather than a series of sites.”

Fiona Hamilton said that Robbins Island is of extreme significance to Tasmania’s Aboriginal people.

“My great concern is that there are very significant aboriginal sites on Robbins Islands,” she said.

“We have isolated stone tools, and people might think well that’s just one stone tool here or there, but it's what they’re made out of that’s important.”

Fiona says that artefacts found on the island are evidence that the site is sacred to more Tasmanian Aboriginal’s than just those that lived in the area.

“They’re made out of spongolite and spongolite is only found at Rebecca Creek on the West Coast of Tasmania. That is the only place you can source that material.

“That means that people from the west coast were travelling backwards and forwards in trade to Robbins Island.

“That means that it’s not just important for the memory of one mob, it’s important to the memory of all Tasmanian Aboriginal people.

“We’re talking about very very significant aboriginal heritage.”

Members of the CHCAN, along with others in opposition to the project, will be voicing their concerns at a rally at Hobart Town Hall at 1pm on April 22.

Opposition to the Robbins Island Renewable Energy Park is growing steadily across Circular Head.

Despite unsavoury weather conditions, locals from across the region flocked to Montagu Campground to share their concerns.

Independent Candidate Craig Garland spoke about the importance of politicians consulting with the community about the project.

Anna Bateman reads the lengthy list of apologies from politicians at the end of proceedings.