Chalumbin Wind Farm Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of Epuron Projects PTY LTD, owned by Korea Zinc plans to build a wind farm of 86 wind turbine generators up to 250m tall, [revised Dec 2021 from 95 turbines, & Nov 2022 from 94 turbines], located across two properties Glen Gordon and Wooroona station. This development is located approximately 15kms SW of Ravenshoe, on the Tablelands, far north QLD, Australia.
Epuron's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act referral makes a significant contradiction regarding the projects proximity to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA). This requires further investigation.
Section 2.1 of tthe EPBC Act referral states ‘The Project area is located adjacent to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area… The nearest proposed project infrastructure is approximately 500m from the edge of the WTWHA boundary.’ (^1) Section 3.8 states ‘The Wet Tropics World Heritage Area (WTWHA) is adjacent to, and partially within the Project area’. (^2)
The amount of land slated to be bulldozed under this development is 2797 acres of 95% remnant vegetation.
The development involves:
*86 wind turbines up to 250m tall.
*Estimated 146km of access tracks with watercourse crossings.
*Land clearing width for track development 60-100m (70m average).
*Medium voltage overhead & underground power lines.
*High voltage power lines with 40m wide corridor.
*3 permanent wind monitoring masts.
*2 concrete batching plants
*Construction of substation, control room and battery storage system.
*Construction of operations and maintenance facility
Epuron plans to commence this development in late 2022.
Just 10-15 full time jobs will be generated during operation. This is stated as being 10 technicians, project manager, admin and support. (^4)
The project threatens multiple endangered and vulnerable native species including:
*Northern Greater Glider (Petauroides volans minor)
*Red Goshawk (Erthrotriorchis radiatus)
*Magnificent Brood Frog (Pseudophryne covacevichae).
*Spectacled Flying Fox
(Tyto novaehollandiae kimberli)
In total 200 species of vertebrates were recorded during surveys on the sites including 18 amphibians, 115 birds, 14 bats, 23 mammals & 30 reptiles. (^5)
Remnant vegetation accounts for the vast majority (95%) of the Project area and was generally observed to be in good condition. (^6)
Four broad habitat types occur in the project area:
*Rocky pavement shrub complex
*Notophyll Vine Forest https://www.wettropics.gov.au/site/user-assets/docs/factsheets/wtmaVMWTB6a13d.pdf
Epuron's 'proposed environmental outcomes to be achieved' by the project:
"Despite the avoidance, minimisation and mitigation measures..., the project is anticipated to have a significant residual impact on the greater glider, the red goshawk and the magnificent brood-frog." (^7)
On the 8th December 2021, The developer released a statement stating they had revised the total number of turbines down - by just one (from 95 to 94), and had reduced the land to be bulldozed from from 3089 to 2797 acres. ^8
In Nov 2022, one day before the release of the Public Environment Report the total number of turbines was reduced to 86, and the development site reduced to 2646.74 acres (1071.1ha). (9)
^1. EPBC Act referral 2021/8983 Chalumbin Wind Farm (section 2.1)
^2. EPBC Act referral 2021/8983 Chalumbin Wind Farm (section 3.8).
^3. MNES Assessment Report Chalumbin Wind Farm Project 22/06/21 (Section 3.3).
^4. EPBC Act referral 2021/8983 Chalumbin Wind Farm (section 1.2)
^5. EPBC Act referral 2021/8983 Chalumbin Wind Farm (section 3.1)
^6. EPBC Act referral 2021/8983 Chalumbin Wind Farm (section 3.7)
^7. EPBC Act referral 2021/8983 Chalumbin Wind Farm (section 4.2).
^8 Epuron website update 8th Dec 2021
^9 Ark energy website update 6th Nov 2022
Eucalypt woodland - (photo taken adjacent to project site). Photo Credit: Matt Lachlan
STOP THE CHALUMBIN WIND FARM!
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