Boco Rock Wind Farm was recently issued with two fines and a warning letter by the Department of Planning and Environment after conditions of approval were breached and Aboriginal heritage sites were disturbed at the Boco Rock Wind Farm near Nimmitabel.
Boco Rock Wind Farm Pty Ltd and Downer EDI Engineering Power Pty Limited were both issued $3000 fines by the Department after construction works disturbed three Aboriginal sites considered to be of moderate local scientific significance.
An investigation by Department compliance officers found approval conditions relating to the management of Aboriginal heritage had not been met.
A warning letter has also been issued to NGH Environmental Pty Ltd for providing incorrect location information about heritage sites in the management plans provided to both companies.
The Bombala Times made numerous attempts to contact the director of the NGA Bega office, Nick Graham Higgs to ask how the error was made if there were any repercussions internally, but he was unavailable.
A spokesperson from Planning and Environment highlighted the importance of protecting aboriginal heritage sites in accordance with conditions and added all parties cooperated in the compliance investigation.
“The Department’s compliance officers and the Office of Environment and Heritage will work with Boco Rock Windfarm to make sure any artefacts recovered from the disturbed sites are salvaged,” a spokesperson said.
“The Department also understands an independent archaeological expert has been engaged by the windfarm to carry-out the salvage work.
“Our compliance officers conduct spot checks without warning, regular inspections and audits as well as work with companies to ensure they are sticking to the rules.
“The Department actively conducts compliance audits and also offers education and training.
“The Department can issue the highest on-the-spot fines in the country for breaches of conditions.
“The community is also encouraged to contact the Department with any concerns. Complaints will be investigated.”
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