Farmers, conservationists and western Gympie region residents this week marched on the capital, taking their “reckless renewables” concerns to Queensland Parliament House.
Among them were Kilkivan Action Group founder Katy McCallum and Wide Bay federal MP Llew O’Brien, along with Nationals federal leader David Littleproud and Senator Matt Canavan.
The rally, just outside the House, urged the state government “to rethink its plans to destroy prime agricultural land and pristine rainforest and animal habitat throughout Queensland.”
They were part of a crowd of 70 or more from various parts of the state affected by major powerline plans to connect renewable energy projects to the grid or to energy storage projects like the Borumba pumped hydro electricity scheme.
Mrs McCallum told the rally her local community “completely objected” to Labor’s plans for overhead powerlines over private property as well as national parks and environmentally significant state forest areas.
“Our major concern is the destruction of our stunning district and irreparable damage to the environment, where so much amazing flora and fauna live,” she said.
“The Borumba Pumped Hydro project has not met its requirements under social licence and nobody in our area wants it.”
Sixth-generation beef grazier and rally MC Glen Kelly said the rally was being held because regional communities felt increasingly anxious about government plans which were “not looking after the environment – they are destroying it.”
He said the Moah Creek wind farm project, 30km west of Rockhampton, would see up to 60 turbines, each 275m high along 300 to 400m high mountain ridges.
“These things are huge – the sweep area of the blades is the size of five football fields. The Moah wind factory will clear 654 hectares of vegetation. It’ll also need 120 megalitres, or 60 Olympic-sized pools, of water for dust suppression and the concrete foundations. About 23 Olympic-sized swimming pools of concrete will go into the ground and will never be removed.”
Mr Littleproud said demonstrators had warned against “Labor’s commitment of $200 million for wind farm projects in central Queensland, along with plans for the $14.2 billion Borumba Pumped Hydro and the Forest Wind project to Gympie’s immediate north-east, between the city and its Cooloola Coast, “as well as a $12 billion five-gigawatt Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Scheme in the Eungella and Pioneer Valley region *near Mackay).”
The projects would have “devastating consequences,” he said.
He claimed “Labor’s reckless race to achieve 82 per cent renewables by 2030” needed a Senate Inquiry.
Mr Littleproud said the Senate needed to investigate the risk of “irreversible damage to Queensland’s rainforest and wildlife.”
Federal Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry said families in the Eungella and Pioneer Valley were facing an uncertain future, with the Queensland Labor Government forging ahead with plans to flood the region and build the world’s biggest hydro project.
“Eungella, best known for its pristine rainforests and platypus, which inhabit the rivers and creeks, will be inundated with two dams forming the top reservoirs,” Ms Landry said.
“The energy required to power the hydro plant will need wind turbines and a solar field, while prime farming land will also go under. It’s hypocritical of Labor and the Greens to be more than willing to sacrifice the environment in the name of renewable energy.”
Mr O’Brien said Wide Bay was the battle ground where local property owners were standing up for their rights and rightfully demanding their voices be heard.
“The Borumba Pumped Hydro and Forest Wind projects and their associated transmission lines will threaten communities from the Fraser Coast to Gympie, and through the South Burnett, affecting private land holders, natural habitats and remnant vegetation, and governments must listen to the voices of our community,” Mr O’Brien said.
Queensland senator Matt Canavan said wind and solar companies were “running roughshod over our farmers and our landscapes with very little oversight.
“We’ve been trying to get a Senate Inquiry into how these developments and transmission lines are being managed for months and it has been blocked every time by the Labor-Greens Government,” Senator Canavan said.
“Labor needs to be listening to the communities that are being impacted from these decisions rather than the mostly foreign owned renewable companies.”
Federal Member for Flynn Colin Boyce said there were many people, not only in the Flynn electorate, but across the country, who were fighting battles against renewable companies.
“This all directly correlates with the fact that the renewable energy sector is proposing huge infrastructure projects to meet the federal 82 per cent renewable energy target by 2030,” Mr Boyce said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding