Tablelands Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE - Bron­wyn Wheatcroft

TUR­BINES will soon be mak­ing their way up the Palmer­ston Range as the Mount Emerald Wind Farm Project pro­gresses.

Con­struc­tion of the wind farm is con­tin­u­ing with the fif­teenth con­crete tower base for wind tur­bines be­ing com­pleted last Fri­day out of the 53 in to­tal to be built.

Mt Emerald Wind Farm com­mu­nity en­gage­ment fa­cil­i­ta­tor Kim Forde spoke at yes­ter­day’s Mareeba Cham­ber of Com­merce meet­ing to give stake­hold­ers and com­mu­nity mem­bers an up­date on the project’s progress over the past two months.

Dur­ing her pre­sen­ta­tion she pro­vided drone and he­li­copter footage to show the busi­ness com­mu­nity what is hap­pen­ing.

Mrs Forde said ships are start­ing to ar­rive in Cairns Port car­ry­ing the tur­bine na­celles (gen­er­a­tor part) and the blades.

Once they have ar­rived in Cairns they will make their way to the site via the Bruce High­way to­wards In­n­is­fail, then up the Palmer­ston Range and travel through Ma­landa on the B-dou­ble route.

The trucks will use Law­son Road to en­ter the Kennedy High­way to Hansen Rd, and then on to the site via the up­graded in­ter­sec­tion and Kippen Drive.

The 57 me­tre tur­bine blades will be de­liv­ered to the site un­der the guid­ance of the Depart­ment of Main Roads and Trans­port and Queens­land Po­lice.

Mrs Forde said there has been one is­sue with con­struc­tion over the past two months.

“We have had one com­plainant, about noise of the con­struc­tion process,” she said.

“Al­though Ratch Aus­tralia is con­fi­dent we are meet­ing all en­vi­ron­men­tal and per­mit con­di­tions at the site, we have un­der­taken ad­di­tional noise mon­i­tor­ing and in­stalled new mon­i­tor­ing sta­tions to en­sure that the con­cerns of neigh­bours are ac­knowl­edged, and we con­tinue to com­ply with our com­mit­ments.”

She said a num­ber of com­mu­nity brief­ings have been held over the past few weeks in­volv­ing Table­lands Re­gional Coun­cil, Mareeba Lions Club, the Mareeba and Ma­landa Cham­bers of Com­merce and Bar­ron Catch­ment Care.

“Our next Com­mu­nity Con­sul­ta­tive Com­mit­tee meet­ing will be held in two weeks at the Walka­min Sports and So­cial Club,” she said.

From now un­til May, all of the large tower com­po­nents will be de­liv­ered to Cairns Port and trans­ported to the site.

Con­struc­tion of the first tower is planned for early Novem­ber. Any or­gan­i­sa­tions that wish to find out more about the project are en­cour­aged to con­tact the group through the Mt Emerald Wind Farm web­site: www.mte­mer­ald­wind­ to ar­range a meet­ing.

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