A draft code providing clear and consistent standards for the assessment of wind farm development applications in Queensland has been released for public comment, delivering on a key election promise.
Deputy Premier and Minister for State Development, Infrastructure and Planning Jeff Seeney said the draft code had been developed to provide a consistent approach to the planning and assessment of wind farms across the State.
“There is potential for further growth of this high-tech industry in Queensland and the government is mindful that if this occurs, development must be to best-practice standards that balance community expectations,” Mr Seeney said.
“Currently local governments are the assessment managers for wind farm developments with proposals assessed against council planning schemes.
“However most local planning schemes don’t include provisions specific to wind farms, nor do most councils have the expertise required to assess these technical developments.
“We promised at the election to deliver better infrastructure and better planning and the draft Wind Farm State Code delivers on that commitment.
“This document, once finalised and integrated into the State Development Assessment Provisions, will provide consistent guidelines for the potential development of wind farms in Queensland and certainty for the community.
“Currently Queensland has two small wind farms – a 12 megawatt wind farm on the Atherton Tablelands and a 0.5 megawatt wind farm on Thursday Island.
“There are approximately four wind farm proposals undergoing development assessment.”
Mr Seeney said the inclusion of a state-wide development assessment code in the State Development Assessment Provisions would see responsibility for assessment of all wind farm proposals transferred to the State Assessment and Referral Agency, the single lodgement and assessment point for development applications under state government jurisdiction.
“This new approach will relieve local governments of the burden and costs incurred from seeking advice from technical experts on wind farms,” he said.
The community can have its say on the draft code until 13 May.
For more information visit http://www.dsdip.qld.gov.au/infrastructure-and-planning/strategic-planning/draft-wind-farm-state-code.html