New bill brings Coast's $2b wind farm closer

NEW legislation has been introduced to the Queensland parliament to push a mega wind farm to be built near Maryborough closer to reality.

The $2 billion dollar Forest Wind project will be the largest wind farm in Queensland and one of the largest in the southern hemisphere when it goes ahead.

"What this legislation does is allow it to be constructed on forestry land," Minister State Development, Tourism and Innovation Kate Jones said yesterday.

"Of course this project will have to meet all the environmental standards and that process will be ongoing but this process through the legislation today will facilitate the opportunity for this project to go ahead."

The wind farm will create up to 440 jobs during construction and 50 ongoing jobs.

"Forest Wind has the potential to be one of the largest grid-connected wind farms in the Southern Hemisphere and could help propel us towards our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030," she said.

"This project could be an absolute game changer for Queensland. With the potential to generate up to 1200 megawatts of electricity, it has the potential to supply one in four homes in our state.

The Forest Wind Development Bill 2020 will outline a pathway for Forest Wind Holdings to obtain tenure to access, occupy, develop and manage the land for the purpose of the project, and limit the construction and operation of the wind farm to the Toolara, Tuan and Neerdie State Forests.

Ms Jones said the project was being advanced through the government's Exclusive Transactions framework.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the legislation was a great step in the right direction for the Forest Wind project.

"I'm working hard to bring forward projects that will create jobs for the people of Maryborough," he said.

"Forest Wind will be an internationally significant renewable energy project - it has the potential to put us on the map."



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