Developers of the proposed $540 million Mt Emerald wind farm near Walkamin have been told to produce evidence to substantiate the need for delays in providing information needed to assess the application.
Tableland Regional Councillors meeting in Mareeba said RATCH Australia, which wants to build 75-80 turbines on the site, had to substantiate reasons for asking for a six-months extension.
A report to the council said the applicant had indicated there were a number of technical studies that still needed to be completed.
But Cr Marjorie Pagani, who lives within 2km of the nearest proposed turbine, said the request by RATCH contained no evidence to support their application for more time to answer questions asked by the TRC in April 2012.
She said 3000 people would be directly affected by the wind farm, nearly all of them in Division 6 which would remain as part of the TRC after de-amalgamation on January 1. After the split, the wind farm will fall within the new Mareeba Shire boundaries.
RATCH executive general manager business development, Geoff Dutton, said an extension was needed due to complex technical issues involved.
He said their primary focus was on environmental studies integral to the finalisation of the ecological assessment being undertaken, in response the council’s information request and the Federal EPBC (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act) process.
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