Atherton Tablelands Community Triumphs Against International Big Business!

Apr 21, 2024

State Member for Hill Shane Knuth welcomed the news that South Korean-owned Ark Energy has withdrawn its proposal to add another wind farm near the small tablelands community of Ravenshoe.

Mr Knuth said the company had embarked on an intense campaign last year, including renaming the project from Chalumbin to Wooroora Station Windfarm and reducing the project from 200 to 86, then to 42 turbines.

“I couldn’t believe this project gained initial approval from the Queensland government despite being located right next door to World Heritage listed Rainforest.

I vividly remember the Tully Hydro Electric project being knocked back because of environmental concerns, however it appears that wind farms get a free pass, regardless of the damage to natural habitats.”

I am thankful however that the Fed’s used common sense to force the projects withdrawal.”

Mr Knuth said he and Federal Member for Kennedy Bob Katter had stood with the true fighters in the local community who held rallies, launched petitions and put forward a submission to a Senate inquiry into “greenwashing,” which accused the global company of making misleading statements about the project and downplaying its environmental impact by stating:

“It may seem ironic that the very industry of so-called renewable energy that is supposed to be the epitome of ‘greenness’ is one of the most flagrant abusers of greenwashing propaganda,” 

“The manipulation of the green credentials of any development or product in order to gain community/consumer support, is in direct conflict to the expectations the public has, regarding truth and integrity in the information they are provided.”

Mr Knuth said the Ravenshoe community had been punished enough with the closure of the timber industry, the halting of the Tully Hydro Electric project and their fight against the project was vindicated;

“Ravenshoe is already surrounded by two wind farms including Kaban wind farm with 28 turbines at 220m high and Windy Hill wind farm with 20 turbines at 45m high,

This wind farm was originally ten times the size of Windy Hill at 200 turbines, before being downgraded to 86 then 42 – still substantially larger than both Kaban and Windy Hill. Their turbines are 250m high with 90 metres blades, which required significant land-clearing to allow road access for these massive wind turbines.

I ask anyone living in south east Queensland whether they would like their community surrounded by these monstrosities. I doubt anyone would accept it, but the mood seems to be – put them in reginal communities so its not our problem.”

Mr Knuth said the events in State parliament last week further highlighted the fantasy of plunging the state into renewable oblivion.

“This State Government cant even build a cassowary bridge over the highway in Tully without it taking 4 years and 4 times the cost, yet they expect Queenslanders to believe they can approve enough renewables to go from 10-15% of our current energy supply to 75% in just 8 years time?”

It is pure ideological nonsense and cannot possibly be achieved without destroying our states economy, destroying our industry and destroying regional communities. 

Every Queenslander should be deeply concerned that these ridiculous renewable targets have now been enshrined in law.”