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Mareeba council to be briefed on wind farm plans

The new Mareeba Mayor says his council will not rush into decisions regarding the Mount Emerald wind farm on the Tablelands.

RATCH-Australia is making a presentation on the $500 million project at the council’s first full meeting tomorrow. The new council de-amalgamated from the Tablelands Regional Council on January 1.

The company has until late April to provide environmental and technical reports.

Mayor Tom Gilmore says it is important for the new shire to be briefed on the project.

“I’m also aware that the proponents can come back to council at any time before the deadline is reached and then council moves into a 20-day decision making process and there may well be extensions of that as well,” he said.

“So this is something I’m taking very carefully, one step at a time because this is a very complex decision and one that we must get right.”

The wind farm’s opponents will address the council about their concerns early next month.

“Anybody that wishes to come is more than entitled to come of course, it’s an open meeting as long as everybody remains civil because these things sometimes engender a little bit of heat and enthusiasm,” councillor Gilmore said.

“So we nonetheless want to make sure it’s on the record that this council is very interested indeed and interested in both parties’ comments.”