Biodiversity Preserved, Approvals Streamlined

The Victorian Desalination Project was publicly announced in June 2007 as part of the Victorian Government’s Water Plan.  The project completed commissioning in December 2012.

The $3 billion Wonthaggi development was managed by the Victorian State Government’s Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) Capital Projects Division.

Initiated to address the water security needs of a growing population in the drought-prone state, the project was met by the Victorian community with a degree of controversy and opposition, some of which related to potential negative impacts on our ecology and heritage.

As a leader in the field, Biosis was engaged to provide objective assessments of the potential impact of the Victorian Desalination Project upon the natural and constructed environment in accordance with an Environment Effects Statement (EES).

From 2007-2009, Biosis worked on feasibility investigations, route option selection studies and followed up with detailed field investigations of the plant site, near-shore marine environment, 80km water transfer pipeline and 80km electricity supply routes.

More than 30 Biosis consultants undertook detailed flora and fauna investigations which assessed the impacts of each component of the project on threatened plants and animals on the land and in the water.

Biosis developed multiple public reports for the six pre-determined components of the overall project and our expert evidence at the public statutory planning hearing led to the implementation of alignments that had the least ecological and heritage impact.

In terrestrial botany, zoology, freshwater aquatic ecology, and the marine environment, Biosis consultants worked objectively as integral members of the project design team. They informed the design process, ensured compliance with relevant legislation and streamlined the work to obtain necessary regulatory approvals.

With Biosis at its side, the design team was able to reduce any risk to biodiversity at each stage of the project.

That means threatened species like the River Swamp Wallaby Grass, Giant Gippsland Earthworm, Dwarf Galaxias, Growling Grass Frog, Southern Brown Bandicoot and the Hooded Plover were shielded from impact by the early and on-going involvement of Biosis in the project design.

The contribution of Biosis to the Victorian Desalination Project shows that sound environmental guidance from the beginning of projects means reduced risk to biodiversity and more streamlined regulatory approvals.

With Biosis, you know where you stand.