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14 October, 2021

Concerned residents push case to deny wind farm development

CONCERNED community members firmly against a potential wind farm development in their local government area have come together again in a collective bid to deny the project going ahead.

By Michael Warren

Concerned community members met recently to voice their concerns about the Chalumbin wind farm project but felt unheard by Industrial renewable energy corporation Epuron.

Representatives from Rainforest Reserves Australia and the Farmers’ Network believe the Chalumbin wind farm project – a 95 wind turbine development slated for a 78,000 acre land parcel area 10km south of Ravenshoe – would devastate local flora, fauna, pristine wilderness and endangered animal stocks in the area.

Just days ago around 25 local Keep Chalumbin Wild advocates attended a recent meeting to discuss their ongoing campaign. 

“The Queensland renewable map was issued to all attendees to highlight the enormous impacts that will affect the ongoing ecosystems for the industrial wind and solar industry,” Rainforest Reserves Australia CEO Carolyn Emms told The Express.

“One of the main discussions (at the latest meeting) involved learning about QLD renewable energy zones (QREZ) - 'have your say' submissions – an avenue members through written submissions, can voice their concerns about potential windfarm developments.” 

Keep Chambulin Wild advocates had until September 30 to submit their views. QREZ wanted to know what is important when developing QLD’s energy zones, how they can deliver meaningful benefits for local communities and workers, views on renewable energy, benefits QREZ could provide to local communities and views on proposed benefit principles. 

The most recent get together follows a heated and at times controversial meeting on September 16 in Ravenshoe at the local Town Hall in which 120 locals were in attendance.

There, locals believe Industrial Renewable energy corporation, Epuron and its community consultation meeting was merely a smokescreen with company representatives refusing to take questions from the floor and directing locals to instead fill out online feedback forms to express their concerns about the project.

In addition, it’s understood several Tjirrabal and Girrimay elders, Traditional Custodians of the area, spoke up to state they hadn’t been consulted about the decision to build the industrial wind development on Chalumbin – but their concerns went unheard and unaddressed. 

Developers Epuron, maintain however, that the area is an excellent wind resource with measurements showing particularly high night-time speeds. 

Epuron further claims wind farms generate significant economic benefits for local and regional communities and that the project would be a boost to the local economy.

It’s understood the Keep Chambulin group will look to stage further emergency meetings about the issue over the coming weeks in either Atherton, Mareeba or Cairns. 

In recent days concerned locals have also established a website page to keep community members updated and across any developments regarding the matter. 

Those interested can visit https://stopchalumbinwindfarm. com

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