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State Significant Infrastructure

Determination

Snowy 2.0 - Main Works

Snowy Monaro Regional, Snowy Valleys

Current Status: Determination

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

Download the complete Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) below, or access a summary here.

The development of an underground pumped hydro power station and ancillary infrastructure.

Archive

Application (1)

Scoping Report

SEARs (2)

Cover Letter
Issued SEARs

EIS (64)

EIS Summary
EIS Main Report - Part 1
EIS Main Report - Part 2
Appendix A - SEARs compliance table
Appendix B - Detailed maps and plans
Appendix C - Project development - Options and Alternatives
Appendix D - Construction methods
Appendix E - Capital investment value report
Appendix F - Rehabilitation strategy
Appendix G - Mitigation measures table
Appendix H - Strategic context and need for Snowy 2.0
Appendix I - Stakeholder engagement report
Appendix J.1 - Water assessment report
Appendix J.2 - Water Assessment - Annexure A Water characterisation report - 1 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A Water characterisation report - 2 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 3 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 4 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 5 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 6 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 7 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 8 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 9 of 10
Appendix J.3 - Water Assessment - Annexure A - Water characterisation report - 10 of 10
Appendix J.4 - Water Assessment - Annexure B - Modelling Report
Appendix J.4 - Water Assessment - Annexure C - Flood risk assessment
Appendix J.4 - Water Assessment - Annexure D - Water management report
Appendix K - Talbingo and Tantangara reservoirs physical li
Appendix L - 01 Excavated rock placement and Annexes A-B
Appendix L - 02 Excavated rock placement and Annexes C-E
Appendix L - 03 Excavated rock placement and Annex F
Appendix L - 04 Excavated rock placement and Annexes G-H
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A1
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A2
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A3
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A4
Appendix M.1.01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A5
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A6
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A7
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A8
Appendix M.1-01 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part A9
Appendix M.1-02 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Part B
Appendix M.1-03 Biodiversity Development Assessment Report - Annexures
Appendix M.2 - Aquatic ecology assessment
Appendix M.2_Aquatic ecology assessment - studies
Appendix M.3 - Offset strategy
Appendix N.1-01 Contamination assessment
Appendix N.1-02 Contamination assessment - Annexures
Appendix N.2 - Soils and land assessment
Appendix O.1 - Palaeozoic geodiversity assessment
Appendix O.2 Cenozoic geodiversity assessment
Appendix P.1 - ACHAR
Appendix P.2 - 01 Historic Heritage
Appendix P.2-02 Historic heritage - Annexures 1-3
Appendix P.2-02 Historic heritage - Annexures 4-5
Appendix Q - Traffic and transport
Appendix R - Noise and vibration
Appendix S - Landscape and visual assessment
Appendix T - Bushfire risk assessment
Appendix U - Hazard and risk
Appendix V Air quality
Appendix W Navigation Impact Assessment
Appendix X.1 - Social impact assessment
Appendix X.2 Recreational User Impacts Assessment
Appendix Y - Economic Assessment

Response to Submissions (16)

Request RTS
Main Report
Appendix A - F
Appendix G - BDAR Part 1
Appendix G - BDAR Part 2
Appendix H - Response to DPI Fisheries
Appendix I - Water Modelling Part 1
Appendix I - Water Modelling Part 2
Appendix I - Water Modelling Part 3
Appendix J - Water Mgmt Part 1
Appendix J - Water Mgmt Part 2
Appendix L - Offset Strategy
Appendix N - Response to DPIE Biosecurity
Appendix M - Heritage Addendum
Appendix K - Traffic and Transport
Appendix O - Revised Project Description

Additional Information (2)

Response to RFI - 2 April 20
Response to RFI - 27 Feb 20

Determination (3)

Assessment Report
Notice of Decision
Infrastructure Approval

Approved Documents

Management Plans and Strategies (15)

Spoil Management Plan - Approval Letter
Spoil Management Plan
Transport Management Plan
Transport Management Plan Approval
Environmental Management Strategy
Environmental Management Strategy Approval
Spoil Management Plan
Spoil Management Plan Approval
Heritage Management Plan
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_20122020_034404
Biodiversity Management Plan
Approval of Plan Strategy or Study_19102020_034442
Groundwater Management Plan
Surface Water Management Plan
Water Management Plan

Independent Reviews and Audits (4)

6 monthly IEA Report Snowy 2.0 July 2021
Audit reports_23082021_122736
Snowy 2.0 IEA
IEA Response Letter_170621

Note: Only documents approved by the Department after November 2019 will be published above. Any documents approved before this time can be viewed on the Applicant's website.

Complaints

Want to lodge a compliance complaint about this project?

Make a Complaint

Enforcements

There are no enforcements for this project.

Inspections

18/6/2020

16/7/2020

8/10/2020

18/11/2020

19/11/2020

17/2/2021

17/2/2021

18/2/2021

21/4/2021

21/4/2021

22/4/2021

23/6/2021

23/6/2021

24/6/2021

15/02/2022

30/03/2022

21/04/2022

16/06/2022

Note: Only enforcements and inspections undertaken by the Department from March 2020 will be shown above.

Submissions

Filters
Showing 141 - 160 of 201 submissions
Jillian Salz
Object
LEURA , New South Wales
Message
I am appalled by the environmental insensitivity shown in the EIS for the Snowy 2 project.
I have many concerns including those listed below.
I have read the EIS and find that the summary from the National Parks Association sums up my objections.
As a pensioner who has not received reasonable increases in the pension for many years I strongly object to the public money being squandered on this project which is not cost effective. It will be a net consumer not a net generator of electricity. I do not want Governments to support projects which have a negative impact on the environment. Solar and wind projects are far less destructive. I implore all governments to stop raping our precious environments especially rare ones in our highly valuable and ecological National Parks (such as Kosciusko National Park).

The ‘project area’ described in the EIS is 250,000 ha, one third of Kosciuszko National Park and three times the size of metropolitan Sydney.
The EIS seriously understates the full environmental impact on the Park, which, when vegetation clearance, earthworks, dumping and damage to streams and water-dependant ecosystems are included will exceed 10,000 ha.
Even the EIS admits that the Main Works will ‘disturb’ 1,680 ha, clear 1,053 ha of native vegetation and destroy 992 ha of threatened species habitat.
14 million cubic metres of excavated spoil, some of which contains asbestos and/or is acidic, will be dumped in Kosciuszko National Park. Most of the spoil will go into Talbingo and Tantangara Reservoirs, decreasing their storage capacities, with the remainder to go into roads or to ‘landscape’ the park.
Major infrastructure, including the widening and construction of 100 km of roads and tracks are proposed throughout the project area. Some of which will destroy sensitive environmental and geological significant areas. Under normal circumstances these would not be allowed within a National Park, so why under Snowy 2.0?
Two side-by-side high voltage transmission lines for 10 km through the Park, with a 120m wide easement swathe.
Snowy 2.0 requires tunnelling through 27 kms of rock. This will depress the water table in some sections by more than 50 m and have an impact for up to 2 kms either side of the tunnel. This will lead to montane streams and water dependant alpine bogs drying up, further impacting upon vulnerable habitats and native species. It will also lead to a reduction of inflows to Snowy reservoirs and downstream rivers. These river systems are already under threat from feral animals and global heating. Any works that threaten water quality and quantity must be avoided.
Noxious pests and weeds will be spread throughout the Snowy Scheme and downstream, including Redfin Perch (a Class One Noxious Pest) and aquatic weeds. These pests and weeds will be transported from Talbingo Reservoir up to pest-free Tantangara, the Upper Murrumbidgee catchment, and then to Eucumbene and throughout the Snowy Scheme and downstream rivers.
Kosciuszko National Park is one of the most loved and frequently visited Parks in Australia. Snowy 2.0 will put off future visitors by its visual blight on the pristine montane landscape from vantage points over thousands of square kilometres. Who wants to see transmission lines and major civil engineering structures in a natural landscape? And who will want to fish in Tantangara anymore, with introduced pest species?
The EIS contains a totally incomplete and inadequate assessment of alternatives to Snowy 2.0. How can such an environmentally destructive development be proposed without an exhaustive exploration of viable alternatives? Kosciuszko is a National Park, not an industrial park!
Snowy Hydro claims that Snowy 2.0 will benefit the renewable energy sector. Yet, for the next decade or so, most of the pumping electricity for Snowy 2.0 will come from coal-fired power stations, not renewables. Worse still, Snowy 2.0 will be a net consumer of electricity, not a generator, with ‘round-trip’ losses of 30%, plus another 10% for transmission.
Not only is Snowy 2.0 environmental vandalism, it isn’t economic. The original $2 billion cost estimate is now approaching $10 billion, including transmission.
Many other pumped storage opportunities have been identified in NSW with a combined capacity considerably greater than Snowy 2.0. Why were these alternatives, together with batteries and other forms of storage, not explored before proposing construction of such a huge project within a National Park?
Never before has a project of such immense size and environmental destruction been proposed within a National Park.
Name Withheld
Object
NARWEE , New South Wales
Message
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Major Projects Team

Attention: Anthony Ko


6/11/2019


Submission on Snowy 2.0 Main Works Environmental Impact Statement

I wish to indicate my strong opposition to the Snowy 2.0 project as described in the Main Works Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

I think that significant environmental impacts are described by consultants in the report but that these are glossed over by the Snowy Mountain Authority in their overview summary. This leads me to have little faith that this proposal will not have significant negative effects on this sensitive sub alpine region and Kosciuszko National Park (KNP), one of our nation’s most iconic, National Heritage Listed national parks.

KNP is a park where I have enjoyed many holidays: bushwalking; camping; birdwatching; enjoying nature; canoeing; touring by tour bus, car and 4 wheel drive; skiing; photographing the scenery, wildlife and wildflower; visiting the historic huts and sites and even the power stations and dam walls (my husband is an electrical engineer familiar with the original Snowy Mountains Scheme). Talbingo Reservoir, where a major part of the construction works will take place, is a very picturesque and quiet spot in KNP.

Clearly Snowy 2.0 will impact the environment of KNP and leave substantial visual scars. It is proposed to excavate millions of cubic metres of rock and basically dump it either in the park or in the reservoirs. Around 100 kilometres of roads will be built and it is only proposed to rehabilitate (as far as I can tell from the maps) one and a half roads small access roads to the spoils. Talbingo intake and control building will look awful on picturesque Talbingo Reservoir. Transport of water between Talbingo and Tantangara Reservoirs will lead to impacts on both due to their different chemistries and the possibility of transmission of pest species and viruses.

Huge transmission lines will be built by Transgrid to transport electricity to and from the grid. While the visual scars of the transmission lines are accessed by the consultants in the report, the EIS for the GRID is not part of the consideration for the Snowy 2.0 Main Works EIS. Neither is the segment factory. This splitting of the project Environmental Impact Assessments, means the full cumulative environmental of the total project cannot be evaluated.

Snowy 2.0 says that after all measures to avoid, minimise and mitigate impacts have been considered, payment of any offsets by Snowy Hydro (out of park conservation or payment into the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Fund (BCF) established under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 (BC Act), will be made once and will be proportional to the residual impacts. This implies that if it all seems too hard for Snowy 2.0 to actually do any avoidance, minimisation and mitigation of impacts, then they can just make an arbitrary offset into an off park conservation measure. How does this conserve sub alpine biodiversity if KNP is Australia’s main sub-alpine site?

Firstly, I think that such a large proposal like Snowy 2.0 should not be allowed in a National Park and it sets a bad precedent. The Snowy Hydro Scheme began construction long before the KNP was established and was officially opened in 1974. Every conceivable watercourse in the Snowy Mountains was diverted into the Scheme. How much more of the Kosciusko Region does our energy market want? According to the map in the report, about one third of KNP is in the zone of influence of the project!

Secondly, if the project goes ahead, then an independent environmental panel should be formed to monitor all environmental impacts of every stage of the project and Snowy 2.0 should be fined whenever it damages the environment when it could have been avoided, and then again if it doesn’t restore the damage in situ and the fine given to the NPWS for KNP management. This in addition to any offset payments required. After all many local councils make their ratepayers not only plant another tree if they chop one down on their land, but also pay a offset fee for tree planting in council reserves.

Thirdly, civil engineers seem to think only in concrete and construction occurs only with huge heavy vehicles which trample and crush over far more land and nature than is needed for any construction. People from Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra who live in cities that are almost permanent construction sites, don’t want to go on holidays to National Parks that are construction zones. And when the construction is finished they don’t want to look at concrete. I don’t agree with the landscape and visual impact assessment report view that grey colour schemes are to be preferred. There is already too much grey concrete in cities. Bring back National Park Green and Mission Brown!

Fourthly, new storage technologies are fast developing such as cryogenic cold energy storage that can be built on old coal power station sites that are already connected to the grid. Snowy 2.0 may be obsolete and old technology before it is finished (probably much later and at far higher cost than envisaged). I think this project needs more considered analysis on technical and economic grounds. It is probably not the best use of the billions of dollars to be spent and has too much potential environmental impact.

In conclusion, the Snowy 2.0 project, as described in the Main Works EIS, does not meet the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development as mandated in the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the Snowy 2.0 Main Works.

Yours faithfully
Name Withheld
Support
Glengarry , Victoria
Message
The environmental offsets for the project must include a brumby cull which continues until they’re all gone. These feral animals trample our native frogs to death and wreck creeks and gullies with their hooves (no Australian animal has hooves). They do horrendous damage. Aside from that, they starve to death if not culled. I don’t care if there’s a poem about them.
Judy Kelly
Object
ARANDA , Australian Capital Territory
Message
I have attached a PDF file with my submission. JK
Attachments
Suzanne Olsson
Object
Nelson Bay , New South Wales
Message
I object on the following grounds:
*Inappropriate environmental impacts
The scale and intensity of environmental impact described in the EIS is inappropriate in any national park, let alone a sensitive sub alpine region, a values for which the national park was gazetted to protect. KNP is one of our nation’s most iconic, National Heritage Listed national parks.

*Fractured assessment process
The process applied to this EIS conceals the catastrophic extent of environmental impacts and there is a distinct lack of credible consideration of less expensive, lower impact alternatives.

*Inefficient renewable energy process
Claims about energy storage potential are dubious, and the excessive cost will be paid for by the Australian public, the ultimate owners of the Snowy Hydro scheme.

These failures clearly demonstrate that the Snowy 2.0 project does not meet the standards required of Environmentally Sustainable Development and accordingly the project should be refused by the Minister for Planning.

There are better ways to do sensitive business on behalf of the Australian community.
Attachments
Name Withheld
Object
BUNDEENA , New South Wales
Message
Thank you for the opportunity to provide comment on the Snowy 2.0 EIS.

I object to the project on the basis of the EIS exhibited. I have not made any declarable political donations. I ask that my name be withheld from publication.

I believe the environmental impacts as described in the EIS are excessive, have not been adequately justified in terms of environmental, economic or social benefit and are not in the public interest.

The area of impact is enormous and beyond reasonable no matter the potential economic or social benefit. Disturbing 1,680ha of native vegetation including 992ha of threatened species habitat is unacceptable, especially given the alarming rate of species decline in Australia and globally which is only accelerating due to the Climate Emergency as recognised by the NSW Government and leading scientists internationally.

Additionally, the proposal to dump 14 million cubic metres of spoil within the Snowy national park is also unacceptable. Should this project be allowed to proceed on the basis of the EIS, this would set a dangerous precedent for future projects or activities seeking to damage the values of National Parks and of threatened species habitat. Should the impacts to a nationally iconic national park, as outlined in this EIS, be found to be acceptable, in my opinion, this would set the bar so low that it would completely compromise the purpose of national parks as defined under the National Parks and Wildlife Act (NSW) 1974.

In NSW it is established in law that the EIS process and assessment under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act (NSW) 1979 requires an adequate assessment of all alternative paths. I do not believe the EIS exhibited meets this requirement. I do not believe that the EIS provides sufficient analysis of the economics feasibility of alternative pathways, such as battery storage, which are likely to have significantly less environmental impact. Appendix Y of the EIS claims that "battery storage is not sufficiently economic to address the intermittency and the capacity shortage associated with the coal-fire plant closures" (footnote, p29). I refute this conclusion. The Snowy 2.0 project is proposed to provide 2,000 MW of additional generating capacity. My first observation is that there is no need to concentrate all that additional capacity in one location. In fact, the National Energy Grid may well be better served if that storage capacity were distributed throughout the grid. There are many examples of economic Lithium battery storage projects that have been deployed and that are under construction globally that demonstrate that lithium battery storage is an economic alternative to hydro. Just one examples is the proposed 567.5 MW, 2,270 MWh Moss Landing project in California, USA. Four projects of similar scale to the proposed Moss Landing power plant proposal would surpass the capacity of the proposed Snowy 2.0 project.

I suggest that the nostalgic national building vision with which this monolithic scale project has been characterised is itself a relic of the carbon intensive industrial past that we must leave behind. Given that the technology and economics of battery storage (both hard storage such as lithium-ion and wet storage such as flow batteries and hydrogen batteries) are under a state of rapid advancement, it seems far more agile, as well as environmentally and economically sensible, to fortify the grid with a roll-out of large and small scale distributed battery storage facilities rather impose the immense scale of ecological and environmental impacts of this monolithic proposal.

In objecting to the unacceptable environmental and ecological impacts outlined in the EIS, I take into consideration the cumulative impact of the proposed impacts in exacerbating the pre-existing environmental impacts such as large scale of recreational infrastructure associated with skiiing and tourism, the unsustainable number of feral animals including feral horses, and the existing high cumulative impacts from the Snowy project on riparian ecology such as the Snowy River. The associated edge effects from the large scale of this project are likely to lead to significant edge effects and key threatening processes on local threatened species and habitat that will extend far beyond the already excessive area of direct impact.

I also question the national security implications of placing all our eggs in one basket through the Snowy 2.0 proposal, in that the project is seeking to concentrate the main source of fast dispatch-able electricity supply for the National Energy Grid in just one location. It is a general principle of network design that has become well established that resilient networks are created from a web of geographically distributed multiply redundant nodes.

I do not believe the general public are yet aware of the enormous scale of the environmental impacts proposed by this project. I believe the public at large are unlikely to support the scale of vegetation destruction and environmental impact proposed in this EIS. I therefor ask both the Commonwealth and NSW Governments to carefully consider whether they will be able to obtain the degree of public support for this project to claim a social contract of support as the public become increasingly aware of the scale of impacts proposed, especially in the context of the developing national conversation around the species extinction crisis in association with the global climate emergency.
Rachel Fitzhardinge
Object
BLAKEHURST , New South Wales
Message
Please see attachment
Attachments
Ron Salz
Object
LEURA , New South Wales
Message
Having read the EIS for the Snowy 2 project, I am appalled by the environmental insensitivity shown.
I have many concerns including those listed below and find that the summary from the National Parks Association sums up my objections.
It amazes me that people have not learnt from the Queensland experience with the Cane Toad. To allow invasive fish species to potentially ruin our waterways and storage systems is criminal. This in itself should be sufficient to stop the project let alone it is just not being commercially viable.
As a pensioner who has not received reasonable increases in the pension for many years I strongly object to the public money being squandered on this project which is not cost effective. It will be a net consumer not a net generator of electricity. I do not want Governments to support projects which have a negative impact on the environment. Solar and wind projects are far less destructive. I implore all governments to stop raping our precious environments especially rare ones in our highly valuable and ecological National Parks (such as Kosciusko National Park).

The ‘project area’ described in the EIS is 250,000 ha, one third of Kosciuszko National Park and three times the size of metropolitan Sydney.
The EIS seriously understates the full environmental impact on the Park, which, when vegetation clearance, earthworks, dumping and damage to streams and water-dependant ecosystems are included will exceed 10,000 ha.
Even the EIS admits that the Main Works will ‘disturb’ 1,680 ha, clear 1,053 ha of native vegetation and destroy 992 ha of threatened species habitat.
14 million cubic metres of excavated spoil, some of which contains asbestos and/or is acidic, will be dumped in Kosciuszko National Park. Most of the spoil will go into Talbingo and Tantangara Reservoirs, decreasing their storage capacities, with the remainder to go into roads or to ‘landscape’ the park.
Major infrastructure, including the widening and construction of 100 km of roads and tracks are proposed throughout the project area. Some of which will destroy sensitive environmental and geological significant areas. Under normal circumstances these would not be allowed within a National Park, so why under Snowy 2.0?
Two side-by-side high voltage transmission lines for 10 km through the Park, with a 120m wide easement swathe.
Snowy 2.0 requires tunnelling through 27 kms of rock. This will depress the water table in some sections by more than 50 m and have an impact for up to 2 kms either side of the tunnel. This will lead to montane streams and water dependant alpine bogs drying up, further impacting upon vulnerable habitats and native species. It will also lead to a reduction of inflows to Snowy reservoirs and downstream rivers. These river systems are already under threat from feral animals and global heating. Any works that threaten water quality and quantity must be avoided.
Noxious pests and weeds will be spread throughout the Snowy Scheme and downstream, including Redfin Perch (a Class One Noxious Pest) and aquatic weeds. These pests and weeds will be transported from Talbingo Reservoir up to pest-free Tantangara, the Upper Murrumbidgee catchment, and then to Eucumbene and throughout the Snowy Scheme and downstream rivers.
Kosciuszko National Park is one of the most loved and frequently visited Parks in Australia. Snowy 2.0 will put off future visitors by its visual blight on the pristine montane landscape from vantage points over thousands of square kilometres. Who wants to see transmission lines and major civil engineering structures in a natural landscape? And who will want to fish in Tantangara anymore, with introduced pest species?
The EIS contains a totally incomplete and inadequate assessment of alternatives to Snowy 2.0. How can such an environmentally destructive development be proposed without an exhaustive exploration of viable alternatives? Kosciuszko is a National Park, not an industrial park!
Snowy Hydro claims that Snowy 2.0 will benefit the renewable energy sector. Yet, for the next decade or so, most of the pumping electricity for Snowy 2.0 will come from coal-fired power stations, not renewables. Worse still, Snowy 2.0 will be a net consumer of electricity, not a generator, with ‘round-trip’ losses of 30%, plus another 10% for transmission.
Not only is Snowy 2.0 environmental vandalism, it isn’t economic. The original $2 billion cost estimate is now approaching $10 billion, including transmission.
Many other pumped storage opportunities have been identified in NSW with a combined capacity considerably greater than Snowy 2.0. Why were these alternatives, together with batteries and other forms of storage, not explored before proposing construction of such a huge project within a National Park?
Never before has a project of such immense size and environmental destruction been proposed within a National Park.
Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach
Comment
COOMA , New South Wales
Message
The Upper Murrumbidgee Demonstration Reach partnership is providing comment on the Snowy 2.0 Major Works EIS, as detailed in the attached submission.
Attachments
Damian Rudd
Object
DANGELONG , New South Wales
Message
Closure of the Tantangara Road is unreasonable and directly effects my enjoyment of using Kosciusko National Park for recreation.
Damian Rudd
Object
DANGELONG , New South Wales
Message
I object to the closure of tantangara road
David G. Stead Memorial Wild Life Research Foundation of Australia
Object
MANLY , New South Wales
Message
SUBJECT: SNOWY 2.0 Proposal

We do not support implementation of a Pumped Hydro scheme within the boundaries of the Kosciusko National Park.

Pumped Hydro is a worthwhile inclusion in Australia’s mix of renewable energy. It creates an effective provision of non-intermittent renewable energy, capable of providing regular input to the power grid and overcomes some of the less efficient aspects of other non-carbon based renewable energies.

However, several aspects of the proposal raise great concerns; including its location and economic viability.

LOCATION

Siting a pumped hydro scheme within the National Park boundaries presents unacceptable risk to sensitive alpine and sub-apline environments. Land clearing for generation and transmission has sever impact to the local bio-regions, provides migration of threatening fish species upstream and pollutes water sources with dumped excavations.

ECONOMICS

Cost projections for the project have continued to rise since the first announcement. The ability to plan and execute the project in a way that makes short-mid term economic viability, raises concern about the long term economic viability of this as an efficient use of public funding.
Keith Muir
Object
Sydney , New South Wales
Message
Dear Planning,

I am so sorry that Snowy 2.0 is such a political exercise, that the 'exploratory works' is now to be with a boring machine and is clearly not experimental but part of the main project and intended to operations started before approval of the main project and not to obtain information to inform the design of it.

You should note that both the main project,that is, this one I am objecting to, and the exploratory works will generate waste rock that bulk up 1.5 times the volume quoted in the environmental impact statement. The assessment do not state this clearly but the actual volumes of waste shall be half as large again as quoted, so the total amount located on national park and in two reservoirs shall be 150% the volumes quoted.

The biodiversity offsets should be in excess of a quarter of a billion dollars and the fact Snowy Hydro is not willing to pay this true cost is again a reflection of the corporation's poor attitude toward this national park and its threatened species. It wants not to compensate nature, and it has not even considered the ecological and scenic integrity of the national park at all.

The park is to be closed for Snowy Hydro's exclusive use over a larger area than state, and also to reduce risks of vehicle accidents. This means Snowy Hydro has taken exclusive possession of the national park and must pay just terms for this lease that it seeks over not only Lobbs Hole but also the Tantangara Dam and Marica areas. It has made no such undertaking and its exclusive occupation is a land grab.

The project has apparently had four vehicle accidents and it is yet to really get going.

I request that this proposal be refused given the scale of its impacts, the determination of the proponent to avoid paying its true costs, against the wishes of the Government for no net loss of threatened biodiversity, and has grossly understated its impact footprint.

Yours sincerely

Keith Muir
61 Egan St
Newtown 2042
Maureen Flowers
Object
HUNTERS HILL , New South Wales
Message
I am writing to strongly object to the Snowy 2.0 project due to the massive impacts this infrastructure will have on a fragile ecosystem already under severe pressure from feral animals and the effects of a changing climate. I understand the 'project area' is 250,000 ha, one third of Kosciusko National Park and three times the size of metropolitan Sydney, and that the EIS significantly understates the extent of the environmental impact on the Park. When vegetation clearance, earthworks, dumping and damage to streams and water-reliant ecosystems are included, the affected area will exceed 10,000 ha, with the Main Works involving destruction of 992 ha of threatened species habitat and clearing of 1,053 ha of native vegetation.
Major infrasturcture, including widening and construction of 100 km of roads and tracks are proposed throughout the project area which will destroy sensitive environmental and geological areas in some cases. This is unacceptable in a National Park and an exception should not be made for this project. 14 million cubic metres of excavated spoil, some containing asbestos and/or is acidic, is proposed to be dumped within the National Park, most of it into Talbingo and Tantangara reservoirs, reducing their storage capacity, with the remainder used for roads or 'landscaping' the Park.
Kosciuszko National Park is one of the most loved and frequently visited Parks in Australia. Snowy 2.0 will deter future visitors by its visual blight on the pristine montane landscape from vantage points over thousands of square kilometres. No-one will want to see transmission lines and major civil engineering structures in a natural landscape or to fish in Tantangara anymore, with introduced pest species transported from Talbingo reservoir. Noxious pests and weeds will be spread throughout the Snowy Scheme and downstream. The impacts from reduced water inflows to Snowy reservoirs and river systems will further threaten their quality and volume with further damaging effects on vital habitats and vulnerable native species.
The EIS contains a totally incomplete and inadequate assessment of alternatives to Snowy 2.0. How can such an environmentally destructive development be proposed without an exhaustive exploration of viable alternatives? Snowy Hydro claims that Snowy 2.0 will benefit the renewable energy sector. However, for the next decade or so, most of the electricity for Snowy 2.0 pumping will still come from coal-fired power stations. This means Snowy 2.0 will be a net consumer of electricity, not a generator, with ‘round-trip’ losses of 30%, plus another 10% for transmission. Not only is Snowy 2.0 extremely environmentally disastrous, it isn’t economic, it's a White Elephant. The original $2 billion cost estimate is now approaching $10 billion, including transmission. Many other pumped storage opportunities have been identified in NSW with a combined capacity considerably greater than Snowy 2.0. Why were these alternatives, together with batteries and other forms of storage, not explored before proposing construction of such a huge and damaging project within a National Park.
I'm appalled that a project of such immense dimensions and environmental destruction has been proposed in the middle of a National Park. Australia needs mass energy storage as part of a transition into renewable energy but Snowy 2.0 is not the answer. It is most definitely the wrong project in the wrong place and it must be stopped.
Mark Fleming
Object
MOLLYMOOK BEACH , New South Wales
Message
Mr Mark Fleming
47 Forest Way
Mollymook Beach, NSW, 2539
6th November 2019
Re: Snowy Hydro 2.0 application

I wish to formally object to the development of Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme on the following grounds.
1. Critical Infrastructure
The project was declared Critical Infrastructure by the previous minister. This action weakens democracy and the integrity of the NSW planning system.

2. National Park Aims
The development is within the Kosciusko National Park. The aim of national parks in NSW and globally is primarily for the conservation on nature. The impacts of this project will threaten the key objective of the national park.

3. Social and Environmental Impacts
The impacts on a significant area in the park are unacceptable. Clearing a minimum of 1053ha of vegetation is not consistent with the key aim of the national park’s estate. Socially and environmentally the destruction of 992ha of threatened habitat is beyond the expectations of the general community to preserve nature for future generations.

4. Placement of tunnel spoil
The tunnelling will generate a large amount of spoil. Placing this in the nearby waterways is problematic. During early discussions of this project the Deputy Premier, Mr Barilaro, was quoted in the press (The Land,11th May,2017) indicating that the waste from the tunnelling would be utilised to create a dual highway between Cooma and Jindabyne. He said,” the mass of rock to be drilled out for the 27kms of tunnels in the proposed Snowy 2.0 pumped hydro scheme is destined to be used as road base for major new road initiatives in southern NSW”. Considering that this has the potential to save many lives in the future I believe that this would be a preferred option and consistent with the Deputy Premier’s and presumably the NSW government’s policy as expressed publicly at the time.

5. Impacts of infrastructure
Supporting infrastructure, such as roads and worker’s camps and power lines, will leave permanent scars on the landscape. Considering that the impacts of the original Snowy scheme have never been adequately remediated this does indicate that the Snowy 2.0 impacts will be evident for hundreds of years. The roading and powerline easements will isolate populations of native animals and increase weed invasion into the park.




6. Cost and lies
The cost of the project is yet to be finalised. Reports of a fivefold increase in cost to $10B (AU) leaves little confidence in the worth of the project to the general community. The Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE) for hydro projects is competitive with other forms of generation. However recent decisions by the federal government to subsidise, Transgrid a wholly private company, to upgrade the interconnector between NSW and Queensland leaves an impression that these projects are not financially viable as private enterprise are reluctant to invest. Similar public investment will be required to connect Snowy2.0 to the markets to the north and south.
Why should the public underwrite these projects when there are ample renewable energy projects approved in NSW to cover the output of Snowy 2.0 several times over without public funding? As pointed out earlier the government via the Deputy Premier indicated that the rock spoil would be used for road building, now it will simply be dumped into nearby water storages, an absolute disgraceful waste of an opportunity.

7. Risk
There are a great many risks involved with this project. The stability of the underlying geology that the tunnels will transect is a major issue. Presuming that the tunnel feeding the turbines will be charged with water this could lead to leakage into the substrates. In the case of a major geological event involving the many fault lines in the area the whole project may be at risk of collapse. Technological advances in other forms of energy storage have the potential to threaten the long-term viability of the project. Considering that significant public funds are involved, contrary to public statements by Snowy Hydro that they would fund Snowy 2.0, this project should be haltered immediately for independent assessment of its financial viability.

Thank you for the opportunity to state my objections to the construction of Snowy 2.0.

Regards

Mark Fleming
Bruce Donald AM
Object
Waverton , New South Wales
Message
I am an environmental, commercial and media lawyer of 50 years standing. I have served as a Commissioner on the Australian Heritage Commission and as Chair of the Environmental Defenders Office. I was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia for my contribution to the law and the public interest.
On economic grounds Snowy 2.0 is entirely unjustifiable. It has initially been promoted without the public being fully informed of the transmission costs which take the total project costs beyond $10 BILLION. No government in its right mind would choose a project at that cost when there are so many alternative renewable projects available.
On environmental grounds, the impact on our iconic national park is completely unacceptable.
The best detailed analysis of the reasons why this project must not go ahead is that of the National parks Association of NSW which I adopt and support in full.
Penelope Figgis AO
Object
WAVERTON , New South Wales
Message
My comments are contained in the attachment
Attachments
Elisabeth Dark
Object
ANNANDALE , New South Wales
Message
See attachment for my submission.
Attachments
Martin Borri
Object
NORTH RYDE , New South Wales
Message
1. I am concerned that the project will affect a much larger area than that specified in the project documents.
2. Many new roads will need to be built in the Kosciuszko National Park and others will need to be widened. I believe this will cause damage to the already sensitive environment.
3. Tunneling for the project will affect the water table and sources of ground water on which sensitive ecosystems such as alpine bogs are dependant.
4. Alternatives to Snowy 2.0, including a number of other pumped storage opportunities, should be explored first, before a project that is almost certain to cause damage to the National Park is considered.
5. The cost has already risen from an estimated $2 billion to an estimated $10 billion dollars. How much higher will it be by the time it is completed?
6. I am concerned that such a large project is being considered for the Kosciuszko National Park. I have visited the area with my family and know that it is an area much loved by walkers and tourists and I do not want the catastrophic consequences of the project to destroy the place I, and so many others, love.
Gippsland Environment Group Inc
Object
WY YUNG , Victoria
Message
Please see GEG submission for comments.
Attachments

Pagination

Project Details

Application Number
SSI-9687
Assessment Type
State Significant Infrastructure
Development Type
Electricity generation - Other
Local Government Areas
Snowy Monaro Regional, Snowy Valleys
Decision
Approved
Determination Date
Decider
Minister
Last Modified By
SSI-9687-Mod-1
Last Modified On
28/01/2022

Contact Planner

Name
Anthony Ko