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Wind farm proponent says guideline changes unfair to Tablelands project  

Credit:  By Sharnie Kim and Kier Shorey | ABC News | 1 May 2014 | www.abc.net.au ~~

The group hoping to build Queensland’s largest wind farm says a new draft code for assessing future developments should not apply to its project.

The State Government has released its draft wind farm code for public comment until May 13, with the new regime to apply from July 1.

RATCH Australia is proposing up to 70 large turbines on the Atherton Tablelands in the far north.

Spokesman Geoff Dutton says the company has spent millions of dollars preparing its project against the old guidelines and it would be unfair to apply the new ones.

“We spent millions of dollars preparing the answers and preparing the information and doing the design work based on the rules that we were given,” he said.

“We don’t see it fitting in the [new] guidelines at all.

“If we had a new wind farm, and we will have subsequent wind farms in Queensland, we’ve got no problem with the principles the new code puts forward.

“It’s a good process and we understand the way they’re doing it. We’re going to make some comments but they’re just minor things on the side.”

Mareeba Mayor Tom Gilmore says he agrees the State Government’s new code should not apply retrospectively to the RATCH proposal.

He says the Government should take over responsibility for assessing the project but against the old guidelines.

“That’s the reason of course that we went to Government and said, ‘look, would you please call this matter in and consider it, because the Mareeba Shire Council simply does not have access to the technical or financial resources to deal with such a complex issue’,” he said.

Source:  By Sharnie Kim and Kier Shorey | ABC News | 1 May 2014 | www.abc.net.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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