The draft code and guideline will provide a more consistent statewide approach to assessing and regulating the development of new or expanding wind farms in Queensland. The State Assessment and Referral Agency (SARA), will be responsible for all development applications for wind farms where the state has a jurisdiction under Queensland's overarching planning legislation—the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 (SPA).
The purpose of the draft wind farm state code is to:
- regulate the development of a new wind farm, or the expansion of an existing wind farm, in an appropriate location
- ensure potential adverse impacts on the community, environment and strategic airports and aviation facilities of interest to the state, are avoided or mitigated during the construction and operation of a wind farm.
The draft guideline will assist applicants in preparing development proposals for new or expanded wind farms. It contains supporting information and guidance to assist a proponent in responding to performance outcomes and acceptable outcomes of the code.
The preparation of the draft code and guideline has been based on national and international best practice, expert technical advice, and recent and emerging research. The State's primary focus is the health and safety of the community, while carefully considering the wind farm developments against the three core objectives of liveability, sustainability and prosperity.
The Department recently released its draft wind farm state code and planning guideline for a second round of public consultation. The consultation period ran for eight weeks from 16 October to 11 December 2015.
The Department is in the process of reviewing all submissions and making any required amendments to the draft code and guideline. Upon completion, it is anticipated that the code and guideline will come into effect as a module in the State Development Assessment Provisions (SDAP) in mid-2016 and be given effect by necessary amendments to the Sustainable Planning Regulation 2009.
The initial draft code and guideline were released for public consultation from 22 April to 13 May 2014. More than 100 submissions were received. As a result of the consultation and the review of submissions, the Department amended the draft code and guideline to reflect community feedback.
The amendments included clarifying performance outcomes and incorporated best practice acoustic management within the Queensland development assessment framework. The guideline was amended to reflect these changes and provide clarity around the minimum supporting actions required to demonstrate compliance with the relevant provisions.