Dozens of residents who turned out to yesterday’s meeting about plans to build far north Queensland’s biggest wind farm say their questions remain unanswered.
RATCH Australia, with partner Port Bajool, wants approval for the Mount Emerald Wind Farm, which includes more than 75 turbines near Walkamin on the Atherton Tablelands.
Local farmer Bruce Watkins says he is worried about the potential health impacts of noise and threats to the local environment.
“There’s something like 38 near endangered species,” he said.
“I’d like to know where all these bloody greenies are, I’d like to know where the Queensland Wildlife Society are.
“They ought to be up there because this is the last bastion that we’re ever going to get in this area.
He says residents are fed up.
“These people are going to blast that hill for two years, bulldoze that hill for two years,” he said.
“They’ve made Walkamin the rural industrial wasteland of the Tablelands.
“We’ve had to put up with prisons, waste dumps, we’ve had main highways put through what was a nice village and a rural community.
“Now, [we’re] presuming we’re going to have this on top of that range, which is one of the most pristine ranges in our area.”
Geoffrey Dutton from RATCH Australia says the company will address all of the community’s questions within a fortnight.
“We’ve listened to a lot of people and we’ve heard their point of view,” he said.
“We’re prepared to change things to suit their point of view and we believe at the end of it, we’ll have a project that most people will say yes to.
“There’ll always be some people who say, ‘I don’t like wind’, that’s okay.
“One of the main things that RATCH Australia wants is to work for the next 25 years with the community, that’s sustainable.
“We don’t want continuous ongoing arguments, we want people to understand what’s going on and we want by far the majority to say, ‘yes, this is a good thing for the community’.”
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