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Project background and approval process

Project background

In 2014, the NSW Government announced the $10 million Eden Safe Harbour Project. Significant works have already been undertaken to date to develop an appropriate attenuator design that meets the project objectives and responds to the various project constraints such as the need to ensure the safe navigation of cruise ships accessing the Breakwater Wharf in Snug Cove. The works have included an options study, geotechnical investigations and wave modelling, ship simulations, value engineering workshop and market sounding.

Concept design work and a Review of Environmental Factors commenced on floating and fixed attenuator designs but was placed on hold to enable Infrastructure NSW (INSW) to conduct an assurance review of the Eden Wave Attenuator and Breakwater Wharf Extension Projects.

Approval process

The project is being assessed under the provisions of Part 5 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (EP&A Act) which involves the preparation of a Review of Environmental Factors (REF).

The REF has been prepared which includes a review of the following factors:

  • coastal process assessment for both a fixed and floating attenuator
  • existing environment e.g. tides, currents, waves (sea and swell), wind
  • potential impacts during the construction and operation of the attenuator e.g. local changes to waves and currents behaviour, impacts to nearby beaches, shorelines and berthing areas, and impacts on the nearby mussel farm
  • any mitigation measures recommended for the construction and operation phases to manage any impacts.

Under Part 5 of the EP&A Act the Department of Industry is both the proponent and determining authority. The department will examine all matters that may impact the environment if a project work activity is undertaken and if an activity is likely to have a significant effect on the environment or significantly affect any threatened species, populations, ecological communities or their habitats.

If there is the possibility of a significant effect on the environment an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and/or Species Impact Statement (SIS) will need to be prepared and considered before approval may be granted (as outlined in Section 112 of EP&A Act).