Gawara Baya Wind Farm Receives EPBC Approval

An artistic impression of the Gawara Baya Wind Farm

Gawara Baya Wind Farm Approval Should Not Set a Precedent

20 June 2024

NQCC responds to the Federal Government’s environmental approval of Windlab’s Gawara Baya Wind Farm (formerly known as the Upper Burdekin Wind Farm) in North Queensland.

North Queensland Conservation Council Coordinator, Crystal Falknau, says:

“This wind project is to be developed on country that is incredibly biodiverse and home to a long list of threatened and endangered species, including koalas, greater gliders, red goshawk and Sharman’s rock wallaby.

“While Windlab has expressed their commitment to setting the bar for environmental practice and has received the green light from both State and Federal Governments, the reality is that the project location is in a highly sensitive landscape, and biodiversity will be negatively impacted.

“We need to reduce our emissions as a matter of urgency, and transforming our energy industry from fossil fuels to renewable energy is by far the fastest and most viable way of achieving this. Our biodiversity is also at risk from climate impacts and the destruction and fragmentation of habitat. Poorly sited renewable energy projects will only add more pressure to our threatened species. With good planning, we can have clean energy without the same risks to nature.

“There are several renewable energy developments proposed in less environmentally sensitive areas throughout North Queensland, including near Hughenden and Mount Isa, which have the potential to actively rehabilitate or regenerate disturbed landscapes, or to provide additional income for graziers and other landowners.

“The Queensland Government’s Renewable Energy Zone Framework should help to ensure future projects are planned for appropriate areas, and not allow unsuitable areas to be developed. Multiple wind projects are proposed for the area adjacent to Gawara Baya, and if all of them proceed, we are concerned that the cumulative impacts to nature will put several species at serious risk.

“Consecutive Federal Governments have delayed much-needed reforms to our environmental laws, and Queensland remains the only state without an Environmental Protection Agency. Without robust environmental laws and a powerful, independent environmental regulator, we may continue to see all kinds of industrial-scale development continue to push our unique biodiversity to the brink.”

 

For more information on the Gawara Baya Wind Farm, visit https://www.gawarabaya.com/


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  • Crystal Falknau