Published: 28th September 2022

The Mayor of Banana Shire Council Nev Ferrier today said the Queensland Government’s announcement to move the target to 70% by 2032 is understandable in the long-term, but the policy is rushed, and the government has not adequately considered the infrastructure needed to support the plan.


“It’s a well-known fact the bridges in the area are not up to code to carry the loads of the blades and other large pieces of equipment required for renewable development. They need to be upgraded or this plan is totally irrelevant,” Mayor Ferrier said.


Located 120km west of Gladstone and home to some 14,000 residents, the Banana Shire holds several large coal mines, and the Callide power station. The Shire is poised to become Queensland’s Renewable energy hub, with 21 renewable energy projects currently underway or slated for development in the Shire, but the Mayor says the projects can’t be rushed.


“I am all for renewable development in the region but not at the cost of my community and I will be writing to the Energy Minister, Hon Mick De Brinni, to invite him to visit and to express disappointment in our lack of consultation,” said Mayor Ferrier.


“I find it a bit surprising our area is paramount to the Energy and Jobs Plan but Minister De Brinni has never visited me here or discussed this with me or my council.”


Mayor Ferrier plans to contact the Honourable Mark Bailey, Minister for Transport and Roads. “We know during the construction stage damage to local roads is massive. We want to work with the energy companies and the Queensland Government to ensure success and that the community doesn’t suffer.


Mayor Ferrier said it’s not only transport infrastructure that needs to be considered, but housing and support services. “Development of this size needs lots of people. Housing is huge issue right now in the Shire and it should not be up to us to find the solutions for a government policy.”


The Mayor said he will be digesting the Queensland Government Energy and Jobs Plan and intends to formally respond to their policy.