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Circular Head Council Decision on Robbins Island

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Thursday, 16 February 2023

Tags: Threatened Species, Environment, Tasmanian Devil

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP | Greens Environment spokesperson

The Circular Head Council’s decision to approve the Robbins Island wind farm is deeply disappointing and blinkered in the midst of a global biodiversity crisis.

It’s critical Tasmania and the rest of the country continues to reduce our carbon emissions to fight climate change, but Robbins Island is the worst place to put a wind farm.

Robbins Island’s international biodiversity significance should have ruled it out as a possible development location decades ago.

Since this massive industrial development was first suggested, a range of experts have called out the destructive impacts on Aboriginal heritage of proposed turbines, roads, and bridge, along with the essential global bird habitat. 

The island and surrounding wetlands are a refuge for many critically endangered bird species – including ones that migrate from the Arctic and Siberia – as well as the iconic wedge-tailed eagle. 

Robbins Island is an incredibly significant area for the Tasmanian Aboriginal community, and forging ahead with this proposal will mean much of the island’s Aboriginal heritage will be lost forever. 

Construction of the wind farm would also involve bulldozing the dens and habitat of a substantial disease-free Tasmanian devil population, as devil numbers continue to decline.

With the Council now giving this badly-placed proposal the green light, all eyes turn to Federal Environment Minister, Tanya Plibersek. 

Will Minister Plibersek do her job and make sure these critical cultural and environmental values are protected, for Australians and the rest of the planet into the future? Or will she just be another rubber stamp for a big corporation that is seeking to turn a profit, no matter the damage they cause or the good alternatives that exist?