Regional communities to have greater say in Qld renewables roll out

The Queensland Conservation Council welcomes the Queensland Government's release of the Renewable Energy Zone Roadmap as a leap toward better outcomes for regional communities through the energy transformation.

The Roadmap includes actions to create local reference groups for each zone as well as allocating $6 million to undertake REZ Readiness Assessments to understand the potential suitability of areas for REZ development. 

"Regional communities have to be in the driver’s seat and steer the roll out of renewable energy in their local area so the energy transformation unlocks long-lasting benefits for their communities," said Stephanie Gray, Campaigner at the Queensland Conservation Council. 

"A well-planned energy transition that prioritises benefiting communities and protecting nature should strengthen regional economies, create local jobs and leave a legacy of better infrastructure.

"One of the key challenges for landholders and regional communities is all the uncertainty about which projects will proceed and the impact they will have locally. Urgently delivering more detailed Renewable Energy Zone planning will help provide certainty for communities. 

"Alongside these measures announced today it's really important that we improve our planning frameworks and nature protection laws so that renewable energy projects are built in the right locations and environmental impacts are minimised.

"We're calling on the Queensland Government to now release the updated wind planning code and ensure that Renewable Energy Zone design is guided by biodiversity and land-use mapping."