Wind farm forest fire fears brought under control
TIMBER Queensland has recognised the fire risk posed by the Forrest Wind Project in the Tuan Forest plantation, but says the risk is manageable and can be mitigated.
It comes after the fire hazard to the plantation forests was identified in a Parliamentary Committee report about the project.
Chief Executive Mick Stephens said “with adequate fire risk controls and measures, we believe the wind farm project can coexist with the plantation timber industry”.
Forest Wind has given an assurance to Timber Queensland the project will invest the necessary resources to adopt best practice fire management and hazard reduction.
A spokeswoman noted Forest Wind and HQPlantations was working on fire reduction arrangements including adequate fuel management zones around each turbine, a hard stand area and regular reduction of fine fuels like dry grass.
She said Forest Wind has been regularly informing and consulting the company on the proposal going forward.
“Timber Queensland supports the project … as it can provide a range of mutual benefits for the timber industry and regional economy,” the spokeswoman said.
She said the benefits were upgraded plantation roads, crossings, an increased skills base and more diversified economic activity.
“The timber industry supports over 1800 direct jobs in Wide Bay and Timber Queensland will work with Governments and stakeholders such as Forest Wind to ensure its sustainable future and growth.”
“The good news for timber is that it is a renewable carbon friendly industry with strong potential for growth given increasing demand,” Mr Stephens said.