Ida Bay State Reserve
Ida Bay State reserve (photograph: Unknown)

Ida Bay State Reserve Destination Public Artwork and Visitor Centre

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​The Parks and Wildlife Service (PWS) invites public submissions on this proposed development within the Ida Bay Stat​e Reserve.  The proponent, Darklabs, is proposing the installation of an international standard artwork called “Transformer” in the Ida Bay State Reserve.

The purpose of the public artwork installation is to: 

  • Deliver and maintain an artwork of exceptional quality and of international significance,
  • Attract an estimated 30,000 people a year to the district, 
  • Be a symbol of regeneration in the aftermath of the devasting fires of 2019 and the COVID-19 economic shutdown in 2020,
  • Provide additional opportunities to showcase the natural and cultural heritage values in the Ida Bay State Reserve and the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TWWHA).

The proposed works ​include:

  • Installation of the Transformer Artwork led by the international acclaimed artist Doug Aitken,
  • Construction of a visitor welcome centre including café, toilets, ticket sales area, and interpretation of railway heritage items,
  • Exclusive use of the adjacent dwelling known as the quarry managers residence for residential purposes,
  • Installation of a 450 metre walking track to the location of the artwork and linking the visitor zones,
  • Creation of a new carparking facilities with space for 33 cars, 2 all ability car spaces, 2 motorcycles, 2 recreational vehicles, bus set down areas and 2 longer term bus parking spaces.

Darklabs is engaged with the Ida Bay Railway Preservation Society (IBRPS) to ensure that the goals of both organisations can be achieved, and that development would not impede the potential for recommencement of a tourist railway on the site.  

The Ida Bay Railway is recognised at a state level for its cultural heritage significance and a Conservation Management Plan (CMP) has been drafted by the proponent as part of this draft EIS.  The CMP provides a comprehensive history of the Ida Bay site and provides heritage guidance and recommends the standards for how this proposal can proceed whilst maintaining the preservation of historic European heritage of the site.

The draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared in accordance with PWS advice and in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Southport Lagoon Conservation Area, George III Monument Historic Site and Ida Bay State Reserve Management Plan 2006. ​


Project Stages

Stage 1 - Draft Environmental I​mpact Statement (EIS) and su​pporting information accepted as suitable for public consultation.

​Stage 2 - Public consultation process advertised in three regional papers. Draft EIS and supporting information available on the ‘Have your say’ page of PWS website.​

Stage 3 - The period for making public submissions closed. Final EIS and Submission Report is prepared by proponent, addressing comments received during the public consultation process.

Stage 4 - Assessment of the final EIS is completed.  PWS prepares an Environmental Assessment Report (EAR) including the submissions report and public submissions.

Stage 5 - Final EIS, EAR, statement of reasons and public submissions are published on ​PWS website.

​Key Dates

Public Consultation period begins 

  • Saturday,  5 June 2021

​​Close of comment period

  • Sunday, 4 July 2021

​Final EIS assessment completed

  • To be announced

EIS, EAR, statement of reasons and public submissions published

  • To be announced

​Reference documents

  Ida Bay Destination Public Artwork and Visitor Centre Draft EIS   (2Mb)​

  Appendix A Title Information   (92Kb)

  Appendix B Transformer Ida Bay Business Plan   (14Mb)

  Appendix C a Site Analysis Plan   (454Kb)

  Appendix C b Transformer Site Plan   (1Mb)

  Appendix D Design Strategy Report   (6Mb)

  Appendix E Visitor Risk Assessment and Control Plan   (148Kb)

  Appendix F Transformer Operations Plan   (3Mb)

  Appendix G Proposal Plans Visitor Centre and Art Installation   (10Mb)

  Appendix H Site Survey and Site Plan   (3Mb)

  Appendix I Landscape Plan   (7Mb)

  Appendix J Ida Bay Railway Conservation Management Plan (Darklab)   (13Mb)

  Appendix K Car Parking Vehicle Sweep Paths and Drainage Layout   (9Mb)

  Appendix L Traffic Impact Assessment   (10Mb)

  Appendix M Onsite Wastewater Management System Report   (486Kb)

  Appendix N Drainage Plans   (7Mb)

  Appendix O Aboriginal Heritage Tasmania Assessment   (295Kb)

  Appendix P Heritage Impact Assessment   (9Mb)

  Appendix Q Draft Construction Environmental Management Plan   (430Kb)

  Appendix R Natural Values Assessment   (5Mb)

  Appendix S Soil and Water Management Plan   (4Mb)

  Appendix T Social Impact Assessment and Community Profile Report   (764Kb)

  Appendix U Visual Impact Assessment   (1Mb)

  Appendix V Stakeholder Engagement and Management Plan   (3Mb)

  Appendix W Geotechnical Assessment   (377Kb)

  Appendix X Draft Emergency Management Plan   (2Mb)

  Appendix Y Bushfire Emergency Plan   (211Kb)

  Appendix Z Tree Risk Assessment   (1Mb)