PROJECTION: Some argue Lacour Energy's proposed wind farm on the Banana Range would be good for business in Bileola and beyond.
PROJECTION: Some argue Lacour Energy's proposed wind farm on the Banana Range would be good for business in Bileola and beyond. Contributed

Wind farm views vary

THERE was a mixed reaction at last week's Lacour community presentation on a proposed wind farm 20km from the township of Biloela.

About 20 community members attended.

Lacour energy director James Townsend said there was general support for the project and interest in the Annual Community Fund, which would provide $100,000 every year for projects or initiatives in the local region.

Local business owner and Callide Dawson Chamber of Commerce president Steve Bates threw his support behind the project.

"We are looking forward to working with Lacour Energy in anyway we can to help," he said.

"It's definitely a step in the right direction. There aren't many long-term jobs involved, but I think in the construction phase short- term there's definitely going to be gains for the local community."

Mr Bates added it could possibly bring more permanent residents to Banana with 15 to 20 long-term jobs.

Raymond Linke, a dragline operator at Batchfire Resources, was just one Biloela resident not 100 per cent behind the idea of a wind farm for employment longevity in the region.

"Another coal-fired power station would be better for job security," he said.

Agforce Central Queensland representative Mark Collins voiced his concern about utilising agricultural land for the wind farm.

"This opportunity also comes with risks," he said.

"Landholders need to be aware of the issues around biosecurity risks as the landholders are ultimately responsible for their land."

Banana Shire mayor Nev Ferrier said he was pleased Lacour Energy was looking at constructing a wind farm on the Banana Range.

"There is a lot to like about this renewable energy project and Lacour Energy have been working with council on the development application process," he said.

"The land the project is being constructed on is not prime agricultural land. It is out of the way and not close to where people live.

"The proponents are not using council roads to access the site and they are not reliant on government subsidies to get the project off the ground."

Biloela resident Alex Muller strongly opposed the project.

"Don't want or need them. They are not viable and are not cost-effective," he said.

Heibronns Mensland proprietor Cliff Heibronn welcomed the project.

"Anything that creates employment ... the more diversification the better," he said.

The project is at the planning and approval stage, which will take another year to complete.


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