Central Queensland’s Renewable Roadblock

Central Queensland’s Renewable Roadblock

Published: 24th April 2023

Central Queensland’s Renewable Roadblock


Queensland’s much-hyped $62 billion Energy Plan and Jobs Plan will experience critical delays, major setbacks and potentially lose millions in potential revenue if road infrastructure investment is not made immediately in Central Queensland, said the Banana Shire Mayor, who joined his Central Queensland governmental colleagues last week to hand the crucial report to State Transport Minister, Mark Bailey.

“As the report highlights, our concerns are that there won’t be time to improve roads and bridges to accommodate the transport of the huge blades and infrastructure needed to build and maintain the dozens of renewable projects starting in the region,” said Banana Shire Mayor, Nev Ferrier. “We’re worried we are going to be ignored in this upcoming budget and the transport infrastructure in Central Queensland won’t be adequate to hit the government’s targets,” concluded the Mayor.

Representing the Central Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils (CQROC), the Mayor of Banana Shire, Nev Ferrier, and Mayor of Gladstone Shire, Matt Burnett, attended several meetings before presenting The Roads to Renewables report to Minister Bailey, saying the self-funded, highly detailed report highlights the enormous amount of revenue that will be lost if roads were not invested in now.

“We undertook our own study because we were frustrated with the inaction on roads and bridges and the lack of urgency coming from the government around the need for better infrastructure to cater for large components for the planned windfarms.  

“We know it is going to have major issues and we are trying to be proactive about it and we have tried to be collaborative about it, working with all stakeholders but our own snapshot report shows that if the roads and bridges are not looked at immediately,  we are set to lose tens of millions of dollars from our local economy and as Mayor,  I have to call this out,” concluded Mayor Ferrier. 

The Mayor said the report detailed how the region, and indeed the entire State, would benefit if action is taken, but probably won’t unless action is taken immediately.

“I’m also terribly worried about the legacy of this renewable boom; we need to do it right now, so the agricultural industry and others benefit, post construction of windfarms. We all know it won’t happen retrospectively,” said Mayor Ferrier.

Mayor Ferrier said the Ministers and Director Generals involved have all been understanding and he has appreciated the access he has had to them, saying he has been advocating actively for this for a long time.  He specifically called out the relationship he has built with Deputy Premier Steven Miles and his Director General, saying the Deputy Premier has given him a very good hearing. 

Speaking on behalf of CQROC, Mayor Ferrier said it was a simple proposition that everyone claimed to understand but seemed unenthusiastic to initiate.  “We will continue to work with the decision makers and our state leaders on this but if we are ignored in the budget, I guess we will know that we have been yanked around a bit and we will take a different course of action.”

Mayor Ferrier concluded: “Put simply, if they want to bring their renewable energy projects on-time and budget, It is in the government’s best interest to invest in the roads and bridges now.”