State MP Bruce Saunders has welcomed the passing of new wind farm legislation. Photo: Stuart Fast
State MP Bruce Saunders has welcomed the passing of new wind farm legislation. Photo: Stuart Fast

MP welcomes forest rule change in wind, reveals next hurdle

WITH a legislative hurdle behind him, Maryborough MP Bruce Saunders has revealed the next steps that will need to be taken to make the wind farm a reality.

The $2billion development will be one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the Maryborough electorate's history.

Mr Saunders said he supported the bill which allowed for a project of this kind to be built in Tuan Forest and the next step was for Development Minister Kate Jones to set up a community reference group to liaise with the company Forest Wind Holdings.

The project will also need to be approved by the Federal Wind Farm Commissioner before development starts.

Asked whether he had noted concerns raised by some residents living near the proposed site, including those in Poona, Mr Saunders said he had but as the project was now going to federal approval stage, he had directed concerned residents to voice their opinions to the commissioner.

He said the wind farm development was now a federal issue, not a state issue.

He also said he wanted as much wind farm manufacturing to be done in Maryborough and if that wasn't possible, for it to at least be done in Queensland.

He did however concede some construction jobs would have to be completed outside Maryborough and the state by people with experience in building wind farms.

Mr Saunders said the State Government would "keep an eye," on the project and ensure as many jobs were offered to locals as possible.

He wanted to see the project provide energy to future sustainable industries on the Fraser Coast.