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Sandy Beach

EPBC Referrals

BlueFloat submitted their EPBC Referral* for the Illawarra REZ on 3/11/23 but it was withdrawn on 7/11/23 in response to community concerns.

* This is the referral developers make to the DCCEWW for considering their project's impact according to the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). It is the first step in the approval process.


To see what BlueFloat proposed visit


The key documents are:-

A summary of the main impacts described in these documents has been provided below 


It is important that the community stays vigilant because once these Referrals are made by the developers, like BlueFloat, it only has 10 days to provide feedback on the potential impact of the proposed project on "protected matters"


Protected matters include: 

  • world heritage areas

  • national heritage places

  • wetlands of international importance (listed under the Ramsar Convention)

  • listed threatened species and ecological communities

  • listed migratory species (protected under international agreements)

  • Commonwealth marine areas

  • Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

  • nuclear actions (including uranium mines)

  • water resources (that relate to coal seam gas development and large coal mining development).

The Act also protects the environment when actions are taken:

  • on Commonwealth land or impact upon Commonwealth land

  • by an Australian Government agency anywhere in the world

  • that impact Commonwealth heritage places overseas.

Keep an eye out for content to help you submit your comments as soon as the Referrals are made!

Here is a summary of some of the known environmental impacts BlueFloat included in their submission:


Description of works & their impact on Matters of National Environmental Significance (MNES) 

  • Vegetation clearance for the construction and operation of the onshore transmission line, substations and ancillary services (e.g. access tracks). Depending on which of the 3 transmission routes are chosen, this could involve clearing or disturbing subtropical rainforest in Killalea Regional Park, estuarine and swamp forests along Minnamurra River and its tributaries to remnants of heathland and rainforests to the west of the Princes Highway around the quarries through to the tributaries of Lake Illawarra (Route 3) or if Route 2 is chosen, endangering six threatened ecological communities and digging large trenches under Lake Illawarra through to the Tallawarra Power Station. 

  • Groundworks/excavation for underground cabling (trenching or boring)

  • Dredging and/or trenching of seabed for subsea cable laying to connect to offshore substations (*There will be 2 x 10km+ long trenches running from each offshore substation to the onshore landing point i.e. 6 x 10km+ wide trenches in total

  • Increase in marine vessels during construction and decommissioning such as tug boats 

  • Operation of Wind Turbine Generators (WTGs) and substations offshore

Impacts listed in other EPBC referrals for Gippsland, the Hunter and Tomago include:-

  • Vessel strike of marine fauna during vessel transit

  • Poor water quality from a vessel oil or waste spill

  • Disturbance of the seabed through taking shallow sediment samples or anchoring equipment deployed to the seafloor

  • Entanglement of marine fauna in equipment cabling or anchorage

  • Long term equipment deployment which may foul or cause contamination of the marine environment (particularly if coated with antifoul)

Threatened Species that will be 'Potentially Significantly Impacted' by turbines off the Illawarra according to BlueFloat



 Summary provided courtesy of Chiara N with thanks

Social Impact (source 'Preliminary Terrestrial Environmental Assessment' p.70)

Threatened Species and Potential Significant Impact Summary.png
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Social Impacts in BlueFloats Preliminary Terrestrial Environment Assessment June 2023 p.70
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Whales Lore vs Law UOW article.png
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