Mount Emerald wind farm opponents have hope after a meeting with a Queensland senator and the LNP candidate for Dalrymple.
LNP Senator Barry O’Sullivan joined candidate Liz Schmidt at a meeting with Tablelands Wind Turbine Action group members on Friday.
Senator O’Sullivan said it was clear the proposed development was unwelcome.
“I’m opposed to this wind farm in this location and in this community,” he said.
Senator O’Sullivan encouraged the group to make a submission to the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines.
He would invite the committee to visit Walkamin to listen to the action group’s case.
“ I will leave with a stronger resolve than I arrived with because I walked down the paddock,” he said.
“That will be true for other senators when they see it, understand it and see the faces of the people.”;
Action group member Jenny Disley said people got a different view of the project when they visited the affected area.
She said while Ms Schmidt had learned how the turbines were detrimental to the farming community, the group wanted the government to address the shortcomings in Queensland’s Wind Farm Code and Guidelines.
“Nobody living in Brisbane or Canberra can have a full understanding if they have not been on the ground at the farms surrounding the project,” she said.
Senator O’Sullivan told the action group not to underestimate the power of the environmental and animal liberation lobbies.
“Don’t think your argument is a powerful argument and it will win because these other arguments made to politicians in George Street are powerful political arguments,” he said.
He said while 100 people in Dalrymple did not want the wind farm, some 1 million in Brisbane and Sydney “want it and want it badly”.
He defended Premier Campbell Newman for accepting the advice he had been given about the development.
“Sometimes the enemy is within,” he said.
“A Premier can be forgiven for taking advice from their local members. In fact, they are condemned if they don’t.”;
An action group member asked what they could do given that three LNP members in North Queensland supported the wind farm.
Senator O’Sullivan put the LNP members actions down to electioneering. He said Dalrymple would be at an advantage if Ms Schmidt became the local member.
“If your member of parliament is part of the government of the day, you’re in a stronger position,” he said. “If you had effective federal and state members you would go a lot further.”;
Ms Schmidt said she was delighted to open doors for the action group.
“It’s about getting you in the door with people who make the decisions,” she said.