From Stephen Andrew
One Nation Member for Mirani Stephen Andrew has described the clearing and carnage of large areas of land for towers as “madness” while last week the site was mysteriously shut down.
One on-site construction worker told Cairns News a group of Aborigines arrived then told the site managers to shut down construction because they were not being paid enough compensation. This accusation has since turned out to be false.
Cairns News has been told that sub-contractors working on the site have not been paid and are owed large amounts for work done so far.
Latest reports from Marlborough are that the windfarm gates were bolted at midday today and the site won’t open again for months.
Local contractors are saying they still have machinery on-site and many are still owed large sums of money by the company, others are paid out.
The news that Andrew Forrest’s $3 billion gigantic wind plant at Clarke Creek has been shut down and its project manager, Windlab, dismissed, is very mysterious.
Contractors and subcontractors were told on Wednesday to stop work immediately and remove all their equipment from the site.
Word on the ground is that Windlab’s mostly ‘Fly in Fly Out’ workforce has already packed up and gone, leaving the work camp empty.
Locals at Marlborough say there’s been no activity at the site since, although work seems to be continuing at the gigantic new substation they’re building.
According to Australian Financial Review, Forrest’s Squadron Energy will take over as project manager, while a source “rejected suggestions” the shutdown was due to ‘safety or cultural heritage’ issues.
An interesting denial, given no-body has even accused them of it!
However, there’s no denying that this sudden shutdown is far from normal.
Major project sites don’t just grind to a halt like that, with no warning.
What makes it even weirder is that Forrest, who owns Squadron Energy through his private company, Tattarang, also owns 75 per cent of Windlab.
It is just one of several giant wind developments planned for the Mirani electorate.
Three alone will see 401 giant turbines strung out along the ridgelines of the Clarke Ranges (195), Boomer Ranges (151) and Connor Ranges (55).
It is these ridge tops where most of the remnant vegetation is located, having escaped development for thousands of years due to its steep terrain.
Much of it will now be destroyed by gigantic wind infrastructure.
Anyone who doubts this, should take a drive to the Clarke Ranges and see the kind of carnage that’s been done to its ridge tops.
Already there are plans for a whole chain of giant turbines to be stretched out across hundreds of kilometres of our Great Dividing Range, from Barron River west of Cairns to Lotus Creek, north of Rockhampton.
No ‘offset’ in the world can ‘compensate’ for the kind of irreversible damage this will cause.
The whole thing is madness.