Passing of bill brings $2b wind farm closer to reality

LEGISLATION that will bring Maryborough's $2 billion wind farm a step closer has been passed in state parliament.

The wind farm can now be built on forestry land.

The Forest Wind Development Bill 2020 outlines a pathway for Forest Wind Holdings to obtain tenure to access, occupy, develop and manage the land for the purpose of the project, and limit the construction and operation of the wind farm to the Toolara, Tuan and Neerdie State Forests.

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders spoke in favour of the bill on Wednesday.

"I rise in support of the Forest Wind Farm Development Bill 2020," he said.

"This is a great project for Wide Bay."

The wind farm, set to be the largest wind farm in Queensland and one of the largest in the southern hemisphere, will create up to 440 jobs during construction and 50 ongoing jobs.

"Let us get the record straight," Mr Saunders said.

"This is about jobs and renewables.

"Between Maryborough and Tiaro will be one of the biggest sustainability hubs in Queensland powered fully by renewable energy.

"This will create hundreds of jobs in my electorate.

"This wind farm is fantastic for the region.

"Not only will it create jobs during construction but also Forest Wind have had over 800 submissions from businesses that want to supply and work on the wind farm."

Minister for State Development, Tourism and Innovation Kate Jones spoke to the Chronicle earlier in the year about the bill.

"Of course this project will have to meet all the environmental standards and that process will be ongoing but this process through the legislation today will facilitate the opportunity for this project to go ahead," she said.

"Forest Wind has the potential to be one of the largest grid-connected wind farms in the Southern Hemisphere and could help propel us towards our target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030."

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