- National Wind Watch: Wind Energy News - https://www.wind-watch.org/news -

Mt Emerald Wind Farm decision delayed again

Opponents of the Mt Emerald Wind Farm want a decision on the development delayed until a more thorough assessment can be carried out.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was today due to either approve or reject the development application for the $380 million development, to be situated near Walkamin.

Ms Trad had initially postponed her decision on the controversial project until she had the chance to speak with stakeholders and the community late last month.

But yesterday, a spokeswoman said Ms Trad and the developers had agreed to a week’s extension, with a decision now due by Friday, April 24.

The alternative energy project, proposed for between Atherton and Mareeba, would include up to 63 turbines on towers about 80-90m tall, with blades of about 50m.

The farm, a joint venture between Ratch Australia and Port Bajool, has the potential to generate enough electricity to power about 75,000 homes.

It is estimated 158 jobs could be created during the two-year construction phase.

The proposed development was called in by the then State Government on June 11 following a request from the Mareeba Shire Council.

Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth, Wind Energy Queensland and community members sent a request to the Deputy Premier’s office this week seeking a delay so an independent assessment of the impact of low-frequency noise and infrasound on the community surrounding the proposed wind farm could be carried out.

Wind Energy Queensland spokesman Bryan Lyons wrote to Ms Trad and said the Government had failed to complete the assessments, as required under the Sustainable Planning Act.

“This would appear to be a deliberate attempt to avoid providing the Mt Emerald community the standard protection that is afforded to other Queensland communities that are possibly impacted from low-frequency noise and infrasound noise from other industry such as mining and coal seam gas,’’ he wrote.

Mr Knuth said there needed to be assurance the wind farm met state law requirements for noise control.

“We want certainty the noise levels are lower than the levels that doesn’t allow residents to suffer from significant noise effects and sleep disturbance,’’ he said. Ideally, any decision made would be delayed until the Senate inquiry into governance of wind turbines was due to release its findings by the end of June, he said.