07 4032 1746 admin@cafnec.org.au

Chalumbin Wind Farm Development

The Chalumbin wind farm is a major development project which is proposed on the boarder of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, close to Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tablelands.

The proponent of the Chalumbin wind farm is Epuron, which was recently acquired by Korea Zinc. The proposal consists of 86 wind turbine generators across two properties Glen Gordon and Wooroora station. 

The Issue

The Chalumbin Wind farm is proposed in a heavily vegetated landscape, containing threatened species and in close proximity to the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. 

The project will set a precedent for the kind of renewable energy development in Queensland that the community can expect to see with the transition away from the fossil fuel industry.

Currently the Queensland Renewable Energy Zones (QREZ) have not been mapped to understand the high value biodiversity and renewable energy resources (wind and solar). This mapping is essential for knowing where renewable energy projects should be located, ensuring that we are not clearing essential habitat and losing biodiversity as a result. 

Until the planning and mapping QREZ’s is complete, we can not be confident that the Chalumbin wind farm is not resulting in the loss of essential habitats and biodiversity.

No amount of minimising, offsetting, rehabilitation, will account for poorly placed, and poorly planned development. 

    We know that the rapid rollout of renewable energy is essential to secure a safe climate future. No one knows that better than the stewards of the reef and rainforest. However we also know that we cannot afford to prepetuate the extinction crisis and biodiveristy loss through renewable energy development. 

    This is our opportunity to get it right early! – Lucy, Director, CAFNEC

    CAFNEC acknowledge the Jirrbal Peoples as the first peoples of the land of the proposed site of the Chalumbin wind farm. We acknowledge that soveriegnty was never ceded and pay respects to elders.

    The Solution

    Chalumbin wind farm is demonstrably uncoordinated development that will likely have significant impact on a broad diversity of Matters of National Environmental Significance. There are likely many feasible alternatives to this wind farm, however they have not been considered. 

    The Solution: Call on Hon Minister Minister Plibersek to reject this proposal due to it’s impacts on nature and support the regenerative energy future we all want.

    Listen to the Background Briefing Story (2021)

    Make a Submission

    Submissions on the Public Environment Report have now CLOSED (as of 5:00 PM on 09 January 2023). However, you may still wish to write to Ark Energy and the Federal environment minister, Hon Tanya Plibersek to share your concerns, and can use the below information to do so.

    The Public Environment Report that is prepared as a part of the EPBC Act Assessment is really important. We must work to have as many people making submissions regarding the issues of this windfarm, so that they are highlighted in the assessment. However, we also know that the Federal Laws have been failing to protect nature, so we must also write to the Federal environment minister, Hon Tanya Plibersek, urging her to reject this proposal. It is a prime opportunity to share the vision we have for a restorative energy industry

    1. Make a Submission 
        1. Post it to: Chalumbin Wind Farm Pty Ltd c/ Ark Energy, Level 6, 200 Adelaide Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000Use the submission template below OR
        2. Email to info@nullchalumbinwindfarm.com.au 
        3. Given that submission are going straight to the proponent, we suggest you also upload here for transparency 
      1. Write to the Minister 
        1. Template Below 
        2. Send to Minister.Plibersek@nulldcceew.gov.au

      Transparency of EPBC Act Process

      Unfortunately, we are still waiting for the implementation of reforms to the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. As a result there are still failings that we have to deal with.

      One of the major issues with the PER process is that the proponent does not have to keep a public register of submissions. Therefore there is not transparency regarding what the proponent did, or did not change based on submission.

      To help the community have this transparency, CAFNEC is providing the opportunity to upload your submissions to our folder, so that we can see what issues have been raised, and how the proponent has/has not addressed them in the final PER.

      Submission to Chalumbin PER

      We are keeping a track of the submissions made to the Ark Energy so that there is a public record of submissions made to the proponent regarding the Public Environment Report. This will help us review how our submissions were considered once Ark Energy publish the Final PER.

      Max. file size: 2 MB.
      Max. file size: 2 MB.

      THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS

       Chalumbin Public Environment Report 

      On the 7th of November the Public Environment Report for the Chalumbin Windfarm was released to the public as required under the EPBC Act. 

      Public materials will be on display in hard copy for a minimum of 30 business days between Monday, 7 November 2022 and Friday 16 December 2022 at the following locations:

       Ravenshoe Library (Public Reading Area), 24 Moore St Ravenshoe, Qld 4888.

      Tablelands Regional Council (Front Reception), 45 Mabel Street, Atherton, QLD 4883.

      State Library of Queensland (John Oxley Library – Level 4), Stanley Place, South Brisbane, QLD 4101.

      Public Environment Report materials are also available online for a minimum of 30 business days between Monday, 7 November 2022 and Friday 16 December 2022 on Ark Energy’s Website: 

      https://arkenergy.com.au/news/2022/11/7/321-invitation-for-comment-epbc-act-draft-public-environment-report/

      Please sign up to the email list above if you wish to receive updates or hear when we have update this page. 

      EPBC Assessment Process

      The Federal Environment Department has chosen to assess the Chalumbin Windfarm through an assessment process that uses a Public Environment Report. The basic steps are:

      1. Federal Department provides guidelines to Ark Energy

      2. Ark Energy produces a Public Evironment Report in alignment with those guidelines

      3. The Federal Department approves the Public Environment Report and tells Ark Energy the public comment period

      4. The community submits public comment on the Public Environment Report to Ark Energy directly

      5. Public Comment closes and Ark Energy must finalise the Public Environment Report, considering community comment (We are here)

      6. The final report and all public comment must be provided to the Federal Department

      7. The Federal Department makes a reccomendation to the Environment Minister for decision

      8. Decision is made

      Community Messages on Chalumbin

      The videos above have been produced by community members and traditional owners who are raising concerns regarding the development. Despite Epuron continuing to progress engagement with Wabubadda Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC, we are still seeing Jirrbal Elders and Traditional Custodians raising concerns in public forums.

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