Winds of change and adjustment as farm moves in
RENEWABLES are here to stay with the $350 million Banana Range Wind Farm project approved by the State Government.
Located 20km west of Biloela, the project currently remains in its fesability stage with construction predicted to commence late 2020 according to Lacour Energy.
Callide Dawson Chamber of Commerce president Steve Bates comes from a local mining family but he stresses that residents need to adjust to the installation of renewable energy in the region.
"This wind farm is the start and the government wants to expand into renewables, this is the future and this is what everyone wants," Mr Bates said.
"Change is uncomfortable for some but it happens on a daily basis and we have to move forward.
"We have to sit back and wait it's going to be another full year before anything starts so plenty of time for people to argue about it and wrap their heads around it."
The construction phase is estimated to create 150 jobs with the bulk of the workforce expected to sourced from the Central Queensland region utilising local employees.
Lacour Energy also estimate they'll be an injection of $30-40 million into the regional economy during the construction through the employment of local contractors and service providers.
"It'll bring eyes onto this area in the construction phase with a lot of flow on jobs in that phase," Mr Bates said.
"For Biloela and surround areas it will have a positive impact regardless of it's small or massive economic impact.
"They'll be an influx of people using goods or services in our area."
A petition was submitted to Queensland Parliament with over 250 signatures from residents who opposed the approval of the project, with also just under 200 active members in a Facebook group 'Banana Range Wind Farm-Impacted Residents' who voiced their concerns.
A spokesperson from the 'Banana Range Wind Farm-Impacted Residents' said, "residents are obviously disappointed in the State Government decision to approve the wind farm."
An anonymous resident, within five kilometres of the wind farm site believes that there's plenty of support for the project, even from those who are in proximity of the site.
"I'm not the only person close to the site that thinks it's a really good thing.
"For people worried about the views you need to look at the bigger picture
"People are screaming out for renewable energy and climate protesters are everywhere."
Mr Bates also said that the ratio of businesses interested and 'for' the project is at about 50/50 and also believes as Lacour release more facts and figures, most people's fears will be allayed.
Lacour Energy Director James Townsend said that moving forward, the plan is to issue tender packages in the middle of next year with the plan to start construction once feasibility is complete at the end of 2020.