Busselton Health Campus Redevelopment
Service: Environmental Approvals
The Busselton Health Campus is a $120.4 million purpose built facility that replaces the aging Busselton Hospital. The new Health Campus was located within an area that appeared quite degraded, having Peppermint trees scattered throughout in a parkland setting. Site investigations revealed that a large population of Western Ringtail Possums resided on the site. Biannual possum surveys confirmed that the site had amongst the highest known densities of Western Ringtail Possums in the Busselton region.
Working in collaboration with Coffey Environments, Aurora Environmental worked to obtain state and federal environmental approvals for the project and as an advisory on the project team. Working with both the Department of Health/WA Country Health Services and Building Management and Works (BMW), Aurora Environmental prepared and submitted an EPA Section 38 referral and an EPBC referral. The EPA did not require formal assessment of the project under State legislation. However, the Federal Government formally assessed the project under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 due to the potential impacts upon the Western Ringtail Possums. A significant aspect of the Federal approval was the development and negotiations of offsets to mitigate potential impacts. This involved restoration of the on-site habitat, rehabilitation of land in a national park, translocation of Western Ringtail Possums to a national park and on-going monitoring of possums on the site.
Running concurrently with the Federal approvals, a native vegetation clearing application was submitted to the Department of Environment Regulation (DER). The approved application was appealed by special interest groups. Aurora Environmental prepared the proponent’s response to the appeals and worked with the Appeals Convenor during the appeals process. The appeals were dismissed by the Minister for the Environment.
The approvals process was carefully managed such that the approval conditions on the clearing permit did not contradict the approval under the EPBC Act.
Key services provided for this project included:
- Strategic advice
- Vegetation clearing permit
- EPA referral
- Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act 1999 referral and approval
- Environmental offsets
- Stakeholder engagement – decision making authorities, community interest groups
- Asbestos validation report
Image source: www.wacountry.health.wa.gov.au/