With the federal government approval decision looming, Ark Energy at the 11th hour has revised the development. In doing so they have contradicted themselves yet again - with potentially very serious ramifications. In the Public Environment Report two alternative configurations of the development were proposed. Neither of those variations included the current format as an option for assessment. Further, Ark Energy stated that if the Magnificent Brood Frog habitat was to be removed from the development, Chalumbin Wind Farm would be 'unfeasible'. It was further stated that not to proceed with the Chalumbin development would be the only option if that habitat was removed. Stunningly, Ark have now removed this habitat from the development! As such it is another graphic example of how blatantly Ark energy is deceiving the public, DCCEEW and the federal environment minister the Hon. Tanya Plibersek. We ask Ms. Plibersek to reject this proposal in its entirety.
Latest letter to the Hon. Ms. Plibersek RE: Chalumbin development revision
An extension to the time in which to make a decision on the approval of the Chalumbin industrial wind farm development has been extended until the 28th September 2023. This is in part so that further Cultural Heritage surveys (and we would hope), environmental surveys can be carried out.
The developer (Ark Energy – formerly Epuron), has previously submitted the final Public Environment Report (PER) to the federal government for approval. A copy of the report can be accessed here: https://arkenergy.com.au/news/2023/3/14/337-chalumbin-wind-farm-final-public-environment-report/
Final approval for the development rests with the Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Environment & Water.
The public has made submissions against the development and the draft PER namely:
*That the developer has outright refused at all times to openly consult with the community. The developer has failed to hold or attend a single open community consultation meeting. Instead, seeking one on one private and small group meetings behind closed doors with no accountability. Recordings have emerged of the developer misleading and / or lying to the public in a briefing.
*In addition, in the draft Public Environment Report the developer has fabricated a version of events to attempt to justify why they have refused to consult with the community. Unfortunately for Ark Energy, evidence from their own emails exposes their lies. Attempting to mislead the federal government by providing false information in order to gain a huge financial windfall may well meet the threshold for fraud. As such a separate referral is being made to the Australian Federal Police in this regard.
*The environmental consequences of the development being approved are catastrophic. The development will impact on a range of threatened species including Magnificent Brood Frogs, Northern Greater Gliders, Red Goshawk, Masked Owl, Spectacled Flying Fox, and other listed fauna and flora species. The development site includes land critical to the survival of multiple endangered species.
*Survey methods utilised by the developer were manifestly inadequate. For example – just 103 hours of spotlighting carried out from a vehicle over defines access tracks to identify notoriously reclusive species including Koalas. So to be clear 103 hours on an area totaling 2646.74 acres!
*The development is in a high biodiversity area directly bordering the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and Yourka – a wildlife refuge. The nearest proposed wind turbine is just 600m from the WTWHA boundary! The land is composed of largely remnant vegetation. The developer, in a deliberate and sustained manner, has misled the community implying the land is degraded, cleared pasture land.
*Cultural Heritage - Local Jirrbal Elders with direct links to the land of the proposed development state that they have not been consulted, and they do not want this development to proceed. Jirrbal community members have revealed that there are areas of extreme Cultural importance and sensitivity that will be desecrated by this development. The developer admits that not all areas of Cultural significance are known, yet seeks to proceed with the development despite this..
*Waterways that cross the development site are headwaters that ultimately feed into the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Sedimentation, increased turbidity, nutrient load and pollution at the site will have consequences and potential impacts all the way to the GBRMP. Species that inhabit the waterways have not been surveyed.
*Destroying such a vast area of vegetation, which has significant environmental concern defies all logic. With deforestation a leading cause of climate change, this development can not be justified on this site.
*The draft Public Environment Report is in clear breach of the guidelines issued for the report. It contains numerous omissions, contradictions and fabrications designed to deceive the public and the federal government. This extends to omitting at least one listed endangered species which a CSIRO published scientific report states inhabits the site – the Lake Eacham Rainbowfish.
*By their conduct, the developer has consistently shown they are not a fit and proper entity to be granted development approval. By their own and prescribed definitions, Ark Energy have no social license to operate in the community. The development should be rejected in its entirety.
Submissions against the development that were sent in hard copy directly to Tanya Plibersek.
This website has been developed, as a community resource, by a resident extremely concerned about the Chalumbin Wind Farm development.
We are not asking for, nor accepting any financial donations.
This website is just one stage of a multi-pronged campaign to have this development proposal stopped.
The sole focus of this campaign is to stop this development on this site. There is no wider agenda at play. This campaign is not politically aligned, and will not advocate partisan views.
Community Input is welcome and encouraged. If you have insight on this development please contact us. If you have skills that may assist in having this project stopped - please let us know.
If you have information regarding this development (or the developer) and wish to remain anonymous, your privacy will be protected.
We acknowledge the Jirrbal people, Traditional Custodians of the land on which we live, and of this proposed development.
We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.
STOP THE CHALUMBIN WIND FARM!
Copyright © 2021 Matt Lachlan