MOVING AHEAD: A $2b wind farm between Gympie and Maryborough could create 440 construction jobs and the project is gaining momentum with government support. This photo is the wind farm at Cooper’s Gap. Photo: File
MOVING AHEAD: A $2b wind farm between Gympie and Maryborough could create 440 construction jobs and the project is gaining momentum with government support. This photo is the wind farm at Cooper’s Gap. Photo: File

Jobs bonanza: $2b wind farm to be built near Gympie

A WIND farm worth up to $2 billion to be built between Gympie and Maryborough is moving forward with support from the State Government.

Forest Wind Holdings, a joint venture between Queensland-based renewables firm CleanSight and Siemens Financial Services, has proposed to locate up to 226 wind turbines across the sites. The plantations are owned and managed by HQPlantations on land under licence from the state.

Minister for State Development Cameron Dick said the Forest Wind project could create around 440 construction jobs and boost renewables supply for Queensland's future energy needs.

"This would be one the largest grid-connected wind farms in the southern hemisphere," Mr Dick said.

"The wind farm would generate approximately 1200 megawatts at capacity, which will power more than 550,000 homes.

"This is enough power for all homes across the Wide Bay-Burnett, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast combined, or the entire Brisbane City Council area.

"This could increase Queensland's installed power generation capacity by approximately nine per cent.

"The project is being advanced as an exclusive transaction as part of the Queensland Government's investment facilitation services.

"It will now move into the detailed assessment stage, which will also include the assessment of its development application."

HQPlantations CEO Jeremy Callachor said he was excited about the possibility of supporting the Queensland Government's long-term renewable energy targets in a material way.

"We will work closely with Forest Wind Holdings to leverage complementary opportunities for improvements in fire protection and road access in the estate, and to ensure there is minimal impact on timber production," Mr Callachor said.

Mr Dick said the proposed wind farm would be located within state forest land between Gympie and Maryborough.

"It would co-exist with established southern pine timber plantations that support our forestry industry," he said.

Minister for Natural Resources and Energy Dr Anthony Lynham said the government was pushing ahead to transform the state's energy network and achieve 50 per cent renewables by 2030.

"While there is still much work to be done before Forest Wind becomes a reality, our government recognises the significance of this project," Dr Lynham said.