Queensland conservationists back positive renewables

Today the Queensland Conservation Council, alongside nine Queensland regional environmental and conservation groups, have released a shared statement in support of a well-planned roll out of renewable energy (PDF 7mb).

The statement points to the positive outcomes that the energy transformation can have for the environment, regional and First Nations communities if delivered well.

"Queenslanders love our natural environment. We have places and biodiversity unlike anywhere else in the world. To make sure our natural wonders thrive long into the future we need to act on climate change and that means building renewable energy in the right places,” said Stephanie Gray, campaigner at the Queensland Conservation Council.

"Climate action also looks like protecting the critical biodiversity we have left. That’s why we’re calling for the state and federal governments to work with communities and First Nations people to publish regional environmental mapping, so renewable energy developers have guidance on where to build new projects.

"We would also like to see the urgent establishment of community reference groups so regional communities and First Nations people can guide developers and government on how best to deliver long term employment and other benefits for their communities.

"We’ve seen community members justifiably raise concerns about certain renewable projects. The issue here is not solar or wind, it’s simply poor planning and a lack of adequate regulation for any type of development."

Queensland’s conservation groups are putting forward a five-point plan for getting the roll out of renewable energy right. These include recommendations for governments to urgently deliver land-use, biodiversity and Cultural Heritage mapping to guide Renewable Energy Zone development, as well as strengthen environmental planning laws.

"Regional communities stand to benefit through long-term jobs and economic activity if Queensland’s energy transformation is well-planned and regional Queenslanders are at the forefront of decision making," said Stephanie Gray

"Most regional Queenslanders want renewable energy. We just want projects built in the best places and we want to be listened to during the process."