Wind farm bill blowing Queensland closer to a clean energy future

Published Thursday, 21 May, 2020 at 12:06 PM

Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation
The Honourable Kate Jones

The large-scale wind farm proposed for the Wide Bay Burnett region is continuing to advance with the introduction of the Forest Wind Development Bill 2020 into Parliament today.

State Development Minister Kate Jones said the introduction of the Bill marked the successful completion of the detailed assessment stage of the Forest Wind project.

“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.

“As the new Minister for State Development the Premier has tasked me with delivering job-creating projects that will stimulate our economy. Forest Wind is exactly the kind of project we’re keen to deliver to create jobs in our regions.

“Locating this wind farm within established southern pine timber plantations between Gympie and Maryborough maximises the value of this land that’s already supporting our forestry industry.”

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.

Mr Jones said the project was being advanced through the government’s Exclusive Transactions framework.

“Forest Wind has the potential to create around 440 jobs during construction over a three-year period and up to 50 full time jobs once it’s up and running,” she said.

“Those are the sort of jobs that would make a real difference to the people of the Wide Bay Burnett.”

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said today 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.

“I’ll continue to work closely with the Minister to secure new infrastructure projects to support locals and stimulate our economy.”