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Senator queries wind farm ‘gag’ clause while in Cairns

A Victorian Senator has questioned why the property developer behind a Tableland wind farm has any need to ban residents from speaking out about the project.

Developer Port Bajool Pty Ltd has placed a clause in its contracts of sale for properties at Oaky Creek Farms, stating there be no objection to the proposed $380 million Mt Emerald Wind Farm.

The developer claims the clause merely ensured buyers were fully aware of the proposed wind farm prior to purchasing property.

The State Government has called in the application for the development from the Mareeba Shire Council and is expected to decide if it will proceed by the end of the year.

Ballarat-based Democratic Labour Party Senator John Madigan, in Cairns this week for the AUSVEG convention, said he sympathised with residents living near the proposed wind farm.

Mr Madigan described the developer’s claims of transparency as “a load of crap”.

“These gag clauses: if this was as pure as driven snow, why do you need gag clauses?’’ he said.

Cook MP David Kempton denied residents had been forced to sign gag orders.

“ There’s no gag order. I reckon (opponents) are playing with that to try and make it look like (the developer) is something he isn’t,” he said.