The  Coopers Gap Wind Farm delivered new income streams for host farmers, an upgrade to Niagara Road and an ongoing community grants scheme for nearby towns (Photo: GEC)
South Burnett Mayor Kathy Duff

June 5, 2024

The Wide Bay Burnett Regional Organisation Of Councils (WBBBROC) will lobby the State Government to give local councils a greater say in the rollout of renewable energy projects.

At WBBROC’s meeting last Friday, representatives from the South Burnett, North Burnett, Fraser Coast, Gympie, Cherbourg and Bundaberg councils debated calling for a moratorium on renewables projects until some basic conditions were met.

This followed a motion, moved at a South Burnett Regional Council meeting on May 15 by Mayor Kathy Duff and carried unanimously, which set out 11 conditions the SBRC would like all renewable projects to meet.

However, at Gympie Regional Council’s meeting on May 29, a similar motion failed to gain approval amid concerns that if it were passed it might interfere with projects already under way in that region.

At the WBBROC meeting, delegates resolved that WBBROC write to the State Government requesting improved regulation on large-scale wind, solar, nuclear, battery energy storage systems, pumped hydro and related transmission projects to ensure that local communities have a say and were not adversely affected by their construction and ongoing activities.

The CEOs of the WBBROC councils will now work together to assemble a briefing paper that will accompany this resolution addressing the issues raised at the WBBROC meeting.

Mayor Duff said her main concerns about renewables projects were that they should not be located on prime agricultural land, and any damage to roads or other community infrastructure caused during construction should be repaired by the companies that caused them.

She was also keen to see that communities which hosted renewables projects received some ongoing benefits from them, such as the community grants scheme operated by Coopers Gap Wind Farm and proposed for the Tarong West Wind Farm, and the Ellesmere and Stanwell battery projects.

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