The survey, conducted in partnership with local landowners, the Nara Nari Tribal Council, Hay Local Aboriginal Land Council (Hay LALC) and environmental consultancy ERM, aims to identify and protect culturally significant sites, artefacts and burial sites.
Commenting on the cultural heritage survey, Someva Renewable CEO Jamie Chivers said it was an important part of Someva’s co-design process.
“We are committed to protecting Indigenous cultural heritage at all of our sites, and the start of the cultural heritage survey process for the Pottinger Energy Park is an exciting milestone,” said Mr Chivers.
“Someva’s co-design process means we genuinely listen to communities wherever we operate and ensure the design of our projects is sensitive to local landholders, the environment and Indigenous heritage,” said Mr Chivers.
“Where this cultural heritage survey identifies a culturally significant site, we are committed to working with the landholder and the local Indigenous community to tailor the design of the Pottinger Energy Park precinct to ensure that site is protected in perpetuity,” said Mr Chivers.
The survey was preceded by a cultural induction ceremony led by the Nari Nari Tribal Council with representatives from Someva Renewables, the local landholder, ERM and Hay LALC in attendance. Jamie Woods, Chairperson of the Nari Nari Tribal Council, used the cultural induction ceremony to welcome Someva Renewables on site and explain the history of the Nari Nari people.
“Our people’s connection to this country goes back to time immemorial, and we have previously uncovered sites that date back over 12,000 years,” said Mr Woods.
“I want to thank and acknowledge the landholder for inviting us to conduct this survey and thank Someva Renewables for their engagement with us to date. We hope this survey will help protect our cultural heritage while we are also excited at the economic and social opportunities that the proposed Pottinger Energy Park could bring to our community and to the region,” said Mr Woods.
The cultural heritage survey is taking place in the northern end of the proposed site within the Hay local government area, with a second cultural heritage survey at the southern end of the proposed site set to kick off in late November in partnership with the Deniliquin Local Aboriginal Land Council.
A final report is expected in December 2023, with Someva to subsequently review the design of the proposed site for approval in 2024.
The Pottinger Energy Park project is located approximately 60 kilometres south of Hay within NSW’s South-West Renewable Energy Zone.