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Tablelands Regional Council’s wind farm headache

Tablelands Regional Council is appealing to the State Government to give it more powers to deal with the proposed Mt Emerald wind farm.

Ratch Australia and Port Bajool have an application before the TRC for the construction of 75-79 turbines at a cost of $540 million on the site near Walkamin.

The council is seeking to amend the Mareeba Shire Planning Scheme which was not designed to deal with wind farm applications.

It also wants the Government to renew a Temporary Local Planning Instrument which was signed by the previous administration but which is due to expire soon.

In early July, Mayor Rosa Lee Long wrote to Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, Jeff Seeney, asking him to approve an amendment to the planning scheme in regard to wind farms.

“Council is concerned that any further delays will jeopardise the scheme amendment before the TLPI expires,” Cr Lee Long wrote.

Yesterday, Cr Lee Long said they were “anxiously and urgently” awaiting a response.

“We don’ have any framework to assess wind farm applications and that is why we are asking the Government for this extension so that the Government can come up with the appropriate framework,” she said.