Leader of The Nationals, David Littleproud, Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce, and Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, have joined local Kalapa graziers in central Queensland to see first-hand the impact renewable projects will have on the region’s environment and communities.
It comes amid concerns over a planned 10,910-hectare Moah wind farm project, 30 kilometres west of Rockhampton.
Sixth-generation beef grazier Glen Kelly said the wind farm, along with other nearby projects including the Clarke Creek, Mt Hopeful and Boulder Creek, would involve extensive clearing of land, much of which has never been touched, on steep mountain ranges.
“We are facing the fight of our lives, and we’re doing it for our next generation who are the ones who will be left to clean up the mess,” Mr Kelly said.
“We have no say on this project as there is no compulsory public consultation phase in wind farm development applications. We feel like the guinea pigs – the Moah Creek turbines will be up to 275 metres to the blade tip, sitting on mountains up to 400 metres tall.
“They will also need to flatten these mountain ridges for the wind blades and cranes – the environmental damage will be enormous, not to mention the soil erosion and its risk to the Great Barrier Reef.”
Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud, who toured the site, said he was deeply concerned for local graziers and the local environment.
“Labor’s ideology does not match the practical reality and the impact on farming areas and the local environment in central Queensland,” Mr Littleproud said.
“Chopping down thousands of hectares of native bushland and pristine farmland is senseless.”
Federal Member for Flynn, Colin Boyce, said the renewable energy sector was proposing huge infrastructure projects to meet Minister Bowen’s 82 per cent renewable energy target by 2030.
“This target involves 22,000 solar panels every day between now and 2030, 40 wind turbines every month between now and 2030 and a proposal to build 28,000 kilometres of high voltage power lines to connect renewables to the grid,” Mr Boyce said.
“These projects are now seen to be having an enormous impact, particularly in rural and regional Queensland, which I outlined in my maiden speech around 12 months ago.
“The environmental damage that will be caused, the fact the renewable sector does not have to comply with any current regulations in Queensland including tree clearing guidelines, reef legislation or environmental protocols that have been imposed on every other industry.
“This is simply outrageous. It’s time the Queensland Government implement legislation around the renewable energy sector that will apply governance over the renewable sector regarding how these projects are getting built and their impact on the farming sector and more broadly rural and regional communities.”
Federal Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said the Labor and Greens parties were willing to sacrifice the environment to meet their net zero targets.
“It is somewhat hypocritical of the Labor and Greens to demonise the resources sector, in particular the coal mining industry, for the damage they believe it inflicts on the environment. Yet, wind farms are popping up all over the untouched bushland,” Ms Landry said.
“Where is the outrage and uproar from the Labor and Greens over the destruction of koala and greater glider habitat? A haven for wildlife? Complete silence.
“These renewable projects are ruining the lives of those who grow our food, ruining prime agriculture land and decimating pristine habitat. Our energy grid needs firm and reliable power.”