A digital concept of the proposed Forest Wind Project.
A digital concept of the proposed Forest Wind Project.

Wind farm update: Where your candidates stand on project

TWO more Maryborough state election candidates have outlined their views on the proposed $2 billion wind farm, ahead of the October Queensland election.

Should it go ahead, the wind farm in the Tuan Forest between Maryborough and Gympie would be the biggest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.

LNP candidate Denis Chapman said he was familiar with the project and saw both positives and negatives.

"On the positive side is the fact that wind is being turned into energy," Mr Chapman said.

"On the negative side - there is the danger of the spinning blades to bird life and in the building stage the damage that will be done to the vegetation with a distinct possibility of a fire risk."

Fraser Coast Regional Council – Cr. Denis Chapman.
Fraser Coast Regional Council – Cr. Denis Chapman.

When it came to jobs arising out of major projects Mr Chapman said "it will always be my policy to make sure that when Government contracts are given the understanding will be that all labour will come from local residents."

"The contractors before they employ people from outside the area will have to prove that people with the required skills don't live in the area.

"Before reaching the final stages of its planning I will ensure that public meetings will take place so that the general public can be properly informed and so that the electorate will have the chance to comment whether they are in favour or not."

Forest Wind Holdings, the company behind the project, has been holding community meetings.

"I am a person who has the ability to read plans and I will analyse the project myself and make sure that my questions are thoroughly answered," Mr Chapman said.

"This project is a huge one and one that must be planned for very carefully.

Informed Medical Options Maryborough candidate Samantha Packer has reservations about the wind farm.

 

Samantha Packer is running as a Maryborough candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party.
Samantha Packer is running as a Maryborough candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party.

Her concerns are around possible pollution caused by industrial chemicals, fire risk, recyclability of wind turbines and blades and scepticism over local jobs.

"Some of the very real concerns include the number of toxic, non-biodegradable materials like hydraulic oils and gas used which have the potential to cause huge environmental damage," she said.

"Considering that this proposed wind farm will be located within the Great Sandy Biosphere, these toxic environmental threats should not be taken lightly."

She was also concerned about the forestry location of the posed by the project saying it was a huge concern because of the fire risk.

Ms Packer said another factor that many people may not be considering was the long term impact of a project of this scale having only a life expectancy of the turbines and blades.

According to her, this could be about 25-30 years.

"Non-biodegradable fibreglass rotor blades the length of a small house that will have to go into landfill somewhere in a relatively short period of time - how is that sustainable and who will be footing that bill?" she said.

Ms Packer also said was also concerned parts manufactured for these proposed turbines would be brought in from overseas and provide no benefit to Maryborough.

"These are just a few of the concerns that I have been made aware of, so until they can be met with viable, truly sustainable options and benefits to our community, I cannot see the wisdom in supporting this proposal."

Forest Wind Holdings, the company behind the development previously outlined how it would manage fire risks.

Timber Queensland has also commented about fire risks.

Incumbent Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders has outlined his views on the project.

Greens candidate Craig Armstrong and One Nation candidate Sharon Lohse have also outlined their views.

Forest Wind has been contacted for comment about the recyclability of their turbines and employment opportunities for Maryborough.



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