Community & Business

14 September, 2023

Drastic changes for wind farm

A PROPOSED wind farm near Ravenshoe has shed its controversial name and been halved in size in response to community feedback and concerns about the project.

Drastic changes for wind farm - feature photo

The drastic changes for the wind farm, previously known as Chalumbin, have come about as Ark Energy try to get the project over the line and signed off by Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek.

The project will now be known as Wooroora Station Wind Farm after its host property Wooroora Pastoral Station - a large cattle-grazing property next to national parks – and has undergone a drastic redesign which has reduced the number of turbines from 86 to 42.

Last year, the project was scaled back from 200 turbines to 86.

The new design includes a minimum buffer of 1km to neighbouring World Heritage areas, and completely avoids wet sclerophyll forest adjoining the World Heritage area as well as all known magnificent brood frog habitat. 

A comprehensive nature positive plan includes rehabilitation of most of the construction disturbance and the establishment of magnificent brood frog nature reserves totalling 1,255 hectares.

It also includes First Nations-led fire management and control of widespread feral pests (pigs, dogs, and cats) and invasive weeds, to improve the host property’s habitat for key species including the northern greater glider, masked owl, and spectacled flying-fox.  

“These changes reduce the impacts to very low levels,” Ark Energy general manager of development for Queensland, Anthony Russo, said.

“We believe the benefits to the natural environment of this project far outweigh its impacts – not least of them more clean energy into the grid in a relatively short time period and a significant improvement in habitat for protected species on private land adjacent to protected forests.

“We look forward to working with all key stakeholders to achieve positive outcomes and we are committed to getting this project right from the outset and delivering on world’s best practice in the energy sector.

“We must navigate the tension between the construction required to transition to a clean energy system and protecting nature, and this project’s evolution offers an excellent case study of major design iterations to achieve nature positive outcomes.”  

After rehabilitation of the temporary construction disturbance, the wind farm would have an operational footprint of approximately 57.6 hectares. 

Mr Russo said it was hoped that the new name would also help to address a “misunderstanding” that the development could impact a nearby wilderness area also known as Chalumbin.

“Some opponents took advantage of the former name to spread misinformation and make unsubstantiated claims about what kind of habitat and species are in the project area and therefore the environmental impacts of the development,” he said 

“The reality is the project is not within the World Heritage area and it is important that the project is represented accurately and the public have the facts.”

The project’s variation has been lodged with the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water, which is currently assessing the proposal. 

More information on the project is available online at


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