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Technical services and consulting solutions for clients in the property, energy, transport, water, resources, defence and government sectors.

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Brilliant minds finding solutions to complex problems, made easy to understand. Making complex easy.

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offshore wind farm

Star of the South

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RPS is providing environmental services and planning expertise to support Australia’s first offshore wind project – Star of the South. 

Australian Fur Seals at Kanowa Island
Australian Fur Seals on Kanowna Island, Victoria

Solution

Star of the South's Marine Ecology Survey Program is part of baseline environmental studies that are informing the project's impact assessment and feeding into State and Commonwealth approvals processes—the Environmental Effects Statement (EES) and Commonwealth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

The studies we are undertaking for Star of the South document marine mammals (such as whales, dolphins and seals), along with seabirds and shorebirds, fish communities and sharks, and benthic habitats (ocean floor animals and sediments) across different seasons. The program also includes the deployment of wave and current meters to inform a coastal processes assessment.

RPS has partnered with local universities and research institutions in the design and execution of the Marine Ecological Survey Program, with survey designs peer-reviewed by independent experts.

Our team has also been appointed as the lead offshore approvals consultant for Star of the South, and has delivered the first stage approval submission—project referrals to the Victorian and Commonwealth Governments. 

A curious interaction between octopus and shark captured during the summer fish surveys in 2020
2017

RPS delivered a high-level due diligence study to identify any potential environmental/approvals risks and an overview of the environmental permitting/consenting processes. 

2018

RPS continued to provide ad hoc strategic advice to the project along with an evaluation of potential baseline studies that would be required for marine mammals, seabirds, shorebirds, and bats. 

2019

RPS was appointed to:

  • provide early approvals advice

  • prepare environmental approvals (EPBC referral and MACA consent) for geophysical and geotechnical surveys

  • Design and deliver Marine Ecology Survey Program—all marine environmental surveys

  • Act as offshore approvals consultant to deliver EIA and other offshore approvals.

2020

RPS delivers:

  • Year 1 of the Marine Ecology Survey Program including baseline studies (marine mammals, seabirds and shorebirds, benthic ecology, fish, fisheries, and coastal processes)

  • Early stages of the Offshore Approvals and EIA (EPBC and Environment Effects  Act referrals), scoping documentation, and consultation.

2021

RPS delivers:

  • Continuation of the Marine Ecology Survey Program for a second year

  • The Offshore Approvals and EIA including initial impact assessment work and regulator engagement for the coastal and marine components.

2022

RPS delivers:

  • The finalisation of the Marine Ecology Survey Program

  • Preparation of offshore technical assessments for the EES and EIS 

COVID-safe surveys

A key challenge for investigations in 2020 was the restriction of travel and movement due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. We worked closely with Star of the South and survey partners to ensure investigations could progress while adhering to social distancing guidelines and government health advice. 

Dwarf minke whale
  • Offshore work - benthic surveys for Star of the South

    Benthic survey 2020

    Offshore work for Star of the South project in 2020.

  • Team prepares for benthic survey for Star of the South project

    Benthic survey 2020

    Team prepares to head offshore for benthic environmental survey in late 2020.

  • Underwater vision captured as part of the Star of the South summer fish surveys in 2020

    Fish surveys

    Underwater vision captured as part of the summer fish surveys in 2020.

  • Offshore work - benthic surveys for Star of the South
  • Team prepares for benthic survey for Star of the South project
  • Underwater vision captured as part of the Star of the South summer fish surveys in 2020
Star of the South: was and current data modelling