Friends of Grasslands

supporting native grassy ecosystems

 

PO Box 987

Civic Square ACT 2608

Phone: 02 62.. ....

 

NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure

 

Dear Sir/Madam

 

Collector wind farm:

 

Friends of Grasslands (FOG) is a community group dedicated to the conservation of natural temperate grassy ecosystems in south-eastern Australia. FOG advocates, educates and advises on matters to do with the conservation of grassy ecosystems, and carries out surveys and other on-ground work. FOG is based in Canberra and its members include professional scientists, landowners, land managers and interested members of the public.

 

In principle, FOG considers loss of any endangered Yellow Box - Blakelys Red Gum grassy woodland and snow gum woodland to be a loss to the environment. While the area is relatively minor, these small losses add up over time to quite significant areas. With this proposal, FOG is pleased to see that the proposed offset area is larger than that required and that it will be managed for conservation. However, its preference would be for towers to be placed only within exotic pasture and open areas with no trees, since this would reduce considerably the impact on the areas of ecological value.

 

FOG supports the mitigation actions in the proposal, such as siting the offset area to encourage bird movement away from the towers, and siting the entire complex away from the escarpment to reduce impact on raptors.

 

FOG was surprised to see little data on impacts from the two existing Collector wind farms. Data from these two farms would have been useful to find out the real and local impacts and compare these with other wind farms, in terms of bird and bat strike, changes to nesting and habitat use in the vicinity, the actual percentage area damaged as opposed to the theoretical area damaged, and changes to problems such as weeds and erosion with additional traffic and soil disturbance.

Sincerely yours

 

 

 

 

John Fitz Gerald

President

24 September 2012