Warmists versus conservationists in North Queensland
Wind farms wrecking the natural environment
While environmental campaigners like Steve Nowakowski remain committed to renewable energy, a Background Briefing investigation has found growing community backlash over the locations chosen for projects in North Queensland.
Local conservation groups and peak climate bodies are sounding the alarm over plans to build green energy projects in forests that predate white settlement, along corridors bordering World Heritage Areas, and on properties previously targeted for conservation protection, rather than on cleared and degraded land.
If all current proposals were to be approved, an estimated 13,332 hectares of remnant vegetation would be cleared statewide. Around 90 per cent of the land clearing will be in North Queensland.
There are currently 48, large-scale renewable energy projects that have been completed, commenced or slated for Queensland, with some of the largest facilities to be built along the electricity transmission networks that traverse the Coral Sea coast.
These transmission lines provide convenient access to the national energy grid but sometimes cut through ecologically valuable land.
“We’ve got this big wall of steel coming through along the transmission line along the western side of the Great Dividing Range, hugging the western side of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area,” Steve says.
According to James Cook University adjunct professor and evolutionary biologist, Dr Tim Nevard, Far North Queensland is one of Australia’s most biodiverse regions and many of the sites chosen for wind farms are “wholly inappropriate”.
“Biodiversity is the buffer at the end of the tracks that stops the runaway train of climate change from bursting through,” Dr Nevard says.
“Destroying biodiversity in order to have greater amounts of wind energy is a complete oxymoron. It’s ridiculous. So we shouldn’t be doing it.”