Friends of Grasslands

supporting native grassy ecosystems

PO Box 987

Civic Square ACT 2608

Phone: 02 62.. ....

Referral Business Entry Point, EIA Policy Section (EPBC Act)
Approvals and Wildlife Division
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601

Dear Sir/Madam

Royalla solar farm, block 1633, Tuggeranong, ACT

Reference number: 2012/6431

Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a community group dedicated to the conservation of indigenous grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. As such, FOG is pleased to see that the proposed solar farm has been sited at the south of this block and away from the better quality box-gum woodland and pink tailed worm lizard (PTWL) habitat areas. We are also pleased to see that some of the environmental consultantís recommendations concerning these endangered ecosystem and species have been picked up in the referral, and support the construction mitigation measures listed. FOG notes that the intent is to manage the outer asset protection zone (which contains some higher quality box gum woodland and PTWL habitat) consistent with both current land management practices and with the maintenance of woodland values. However, FOG would strongly favour an upgrade to this approach that declares it to be in perpetuity.

If it is decided to proceed with either option 2 or option 3, we support the targeted seasonal surveys for PTWL, button wrinklewort and small purple pea being carried out and ask that installation of the underground power cable be aligned to avoid any disturbance to these species, as suggested in the referral. FOG also recommends that revegetation over this cable be compatible with the natural values of the area and that weeds throughout the current easement be actively managed.

Sincerely yours

John Fitz Gerald


22 June 2012