May 24, 2012
A community consultative committee has been formed to improve communications between local local landholders and energy company AGL over the proposed Coopers Gap wind farm.
Discussions were held at a private meeting at the Cooranga North Hall today attended by company representatives and about 45 local farmers and other stakeholders.
AGL wants to build a 350MW wind farm in two stages at Coopers Gap, between Dalby and Kingaroy. The wind farm would be connected to a new sub-station along the Western Downs to Halys transmission line currently being built by Powerlink.
The Cooranga / Boyneside communities have been split with vocal critics publicly attacking the proposal on health and environmental grounds, while other landholders have welcomed the project.
An AGL spokesperson said this afternoon that seven groups would be represented on the consultative committee. Their first meeting would be held at Cooranga North Hall on June 14.
South Burnett Mayor Wayne Kratzmann has indicated previously that he wants Council to take the lead in the discussions over the project.
However there is still confusion over what government body will ultimately have the authority to assess the application for approval.
AGL had been expected to seek Community Infrastructure Designation which would grant the State Government planning approval rights, not the local South Burnett Regional Council.
However Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington, who attended today’s meeting at Cooranga North, said the State Government has no mechanisms in place to assess wind farm developments at present.
“Currently the State Government is co-ordinating a review of the planning process, encompassed within that will be the problems around evaluating wind farms,” she said
“The current process is totally inadequate.”