Wind farms - a solution or a problem?
Photo © Wildlife Queensland
The proposed project has been deemed a controlled action and the assessment method
is to be by environmental impact statement. On 24 February, draft environmental impact statement guidelines were released for public comments due by 26 March 2012.
Wildlife Queensland forwarded a submission on the draft guidelines for the Mt Emerald Wind Farm, Herberton Range. RATCH Australian Corporation Ltd EPBC 2011/6228 to the Commonwealth Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
These draft guidelines appear to address many of the concerns raised by Wildlife Queensland in their original submission. There is strong support for Section 5.7 'Alternatives to the Proposal.'
- The company has stated that a number of sites had been or are currently under consideration. Justification for this site to be used is called for.
- In addition, the detailed requirements outlined will certainly enhance the information base and address the many admitted knowledge gaps on which to base a decision.
- There is also strong support for cumulative impacts to be addressed.
- In addition overseas literature has indicated that the design of the turbines can have a significant influence on a range of matters including but not limited to bird strike, noise and light impacts. Details on such matters including consideration of alternative designs should be addressed.
- Wildlife Queensland notes reference to the use of offsets. Wildlife Queensland is opposed to the use of offsets as, in spite of the qualifications in the guiding principles, the use of offsets permits too much development in areas where development should not occur. It is suggested that it would be extremely difficult to locate and secure appropriate offsets to compensate for the environmental damage this proposed development could cause.
Submissions close on 26 March 2012.
The final guidelines will be released after the Commonwealth has given due consideration to submissions received and amendments, if any, made.
For more information on Wildlife Queensland's activities, call us on +61 7 3221 0194 or send us an email.