Research reveals local community supports proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) today announced that it has published an independent research report about community perceptions of wind farms and the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm. According to survey, 63 percent of local respondents support the development of the proposed wind farm. Undertaken by Qdos Research Pty Ltd in December 2012, the survey also showed a strong level of support for the development of wind farms in Queensland. Over two thirds of people (67 percent of local respondents and 77 percent of respondents across Queensland) support the building of wind farms in Queensland, compared to 12 percent of locals and seven percent of respondents across Queensland who oppose it.

A total of 500 people participated in the survey, including 400 residents from the local area and a further 100 people across broader Queensland. Amanda Shaw, AGL‟s Community Engagement Manager said: "This survey demonstrates a strong level of community support for the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm and the wind industry in Queensland. We are very pleased with the findings."

"The Coopers Gap Wind Farm has the potential to deliver substantial benefits for the local area including approximately 200 construction jobs and approximately 16 ongoing positions to manage the operations of the proposed wind farm."

"We consider input from the community to be very important and we work hard to listen and act on any concerns raised. Since we established the Community Consultative Committee (CCC) in May 2012, a range of important topics have been discussed in detail such as noise and health."

"We appreciate all the feedback that has been provided by the committee members and other locals. We recognise there is more work to be done and we look forward to continuing discussion with the community."

Other key findings of the survey:

  • 65 percent of respondents think the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm will be positive for the environment globally
  • Three out of four locals are aware of the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm
  • 90 percent of those living within 15 kilometres of the wind farm knew about it
  • 55 percent of locals think the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm would be positive for local jobs
  • 55 percent of locals think the proposed Coopers Gap Find Farm would be positive for the local farmers involved 
  • Most locals (58 percent) believe that people can’t get sick from wind farms, compared to 27 percent who believe they can get sick
  • Of those respondents living within 15 kilometres of the site, 73 percent either support or are neutral towards the Coopers Gap Wind Farm and 25 percent oppose it

The complete 'Community perceptions of wind farms' research report is available on AGL's Coopers Gap website.

The proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm will be located near Cooranga North, between Dalby and Kingaroy QLD. The wind farm will have capacity of approximately 350 MW with around 115 wind turbines. AGL is currently preparing the Revised Environmental Assessment Report that will be available for public comment in the coming months. AGL plans to submit an application for planning approval to the Queensland Government later this year.

The Coopers Gap Community Consultative Committee meetings are currently held on the third Thursday of each month at different locations in the local area. AGL encourages the community to raise any questions or concerns that they may have with their respective CCC representatives. Members of the community are also welcome to attend the meeting as observers and if time permits, to ask questions. Details of the CCC members and meeting details are available on the project website.

About AGL

AGL is one of Australia's leading integrated renewable energy companies and is taking action toward creating a sustainable energy future for our investors, communities and customers. Drawing on 175 years of experience, AGL operates retail and merchant energy businesses, power generation assets and an upstream gas portfolio. AGL has one of Australia's largest retail energy and dual fuel customer bases. AGL has a diverse power generation portfolio including base, peaking and intermediate generation plants, spread across traditional thermal generation as well as renewable sources including hydro, wind, landfill gas and biomass. AGL is Australia's largest private owner and operator of renewable energy assets and is looking to further expand this position by exploring a suite of low emission and renewable energy generation development opportunities.