No plan for renewables as FNQ community launches new anti-wind campaign

May 19, 2023

A NEW campaign has been launched in opposition of a major wind farm proposal in a small but passionate Far North Queensland community, as residents rallied against the “forest destroying” development.

More than 50 determined Ravenshoe and Tablelands residents gathered earlier this week at the town’s Kuradilla Park to continue voicing their opposition against the 86-turbine Chalumbin wind farm, alongside Katter’s Australian Party MPs Bob Katter and Shane Knuth.

The event also marked the unveiling of a series of new banners set to be displayed around Ravenshoe, as the community builds momentum on constant delays to a decision by Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. Ms Plibersek has discussed the project on multiple occasions with Mr Katter ahead of her decision, ultimately postponing it, a result the Kennedy MP described as “positive.”

“The minister has told me she’s aware of the threat to wildlife, the threat to the environment with erosion and irreversible damage these wingtip to wingtip blades going up would cause,” Mr Katter said.

“I’m no greenie, but today I’m on their side. We’re united here to protect our nature wonderland. We will not allow the destruction of our forests wildlife, for what – maybe a 15 or 20-year life in these wind turbines.”

Mr Katter pointed out his office had been advised that on October 31 last year, the AEMO updated the nearby Kaban wind farm closure date from 2048 to 2043, reducing the total operational period to 20 years.

Hill MP Shane Knuth said if ever there was a town that had been continually done over, Ravenshoe was on top of the list.

“Locals have been rallying to stop a third windfarm that will consist of some of the tallest turbines in the southern hemisphere and destroy wet sclerophyll forests with threatened and endangered species,” Mr Knuth said.

Bob Katter and I attended the Keep Chalumbin Wild rally to continue the pressure on both state and federal governments to put a stop to this foreign-owned development.”

Committee member of Rainforest Reserves Australia and local conservationist Steven Nowakowski also attended the rally and said decarbonation should not come at the expense of sacrificing biodiversity.

Mr Nowakowski said following recent meetings with the state government, his primary concern was the lack of regulation and planning required in the renewable energy industry.

“Mick de Brenni, the state Energy Minister has made it clear that there is no plan whatsoever for the rollout of renewables,” Mr Nowakowski said.

“Big wind companies are simply picking where they want to set up shop and the state government is steam rolling all development applications through regardless if the wind farm is even in a high wind resource area.

“There urgently needs to be proper planning for the rollout of renewables. If this is not done then there is a high likelihood we will end up with stranded assets or renewable energy projects that are not fit for purpose and don’t deliver the energy capacity that is required.”