Wind farm fined after Aboriginal heritage sites disturbed

Boco Rock Wind Farm near Nimmitabel has been fined for disturbing Indigenous heritage sites of “moderate” significanceBoco Rock Wind Farm has been fined for disturbing Indigneous heritage sites at its Nimmitabel operation.

Boco Rock Wind Farm and Downer EDI Engineering Power were both issued $3000 fines by the Department of Planning and Environmentafter 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 for providing incorrect location information about heritage sites in the management plans provided to both companies.

Fairfax Media made numerous attempts to contact the director of the NGHBega office, Nick Graham Higgs, to ask how the error was made and if there were any repercussions internally, but he declined to comment.

A spokesperson fromPlanning and Environmenthighlighted the importance of protecting Indigenousheritage 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 Wind Farm 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 wind farm 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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