The MacIntyre Wind Farm Precinct is a significant onshore wind complex with a capacity of 1,026MW, located 200km southwest of Brisbane in Queensland, Australia. Upon completion, it will rank among the largest onshore wind farms globally and hold the distinction of being the largest in the southern hemisphere.
This wind farm development is a collaboration between ACCIONA and CleanCo, aimed at contributing 1,026MW to Queensland’s renewable energy targets. Throughout the project’s planning stages, our team has provided Aboriginal and non-Indigenous heritage services to support ACCIONA in fulfilling its commitments to the United Nations’ Sustainability Goals by safeguarding and preserving cultural heritage.
Our partnership with ACCIONA extends beyond mere regulatory compliance. We have diligently worked towards fostering a strong partnership with the Aboriginal communities who have historical ties to the land and have contributed to the cultural heritage upon which the precinct is centered. By promoting their cultural resilience and maintaining their connection to the region, we align with ACCIONA’s dedication to enhancing the well-being of present and future generations, resonating with the Githabul people and our organisation.
Safeguarding cultural heritage
Preservation of cultural heritage has been a top priority, considering that the Githabul people have claimed native title over a portion of the precinct since 2020 and are nearing the determination of their native title rights and interests in the Warwick area. Our heritage consultants have accompanied knowledgeable Githabul community members during the identification and appreciation of their cultural heritage, ensuring it remains unaffected by the construction activities. In addition to sites of occupation, story places, and campgrounds, the survey conducted in the area also identified several notable scarred trees. A key focus for us has been to facilitate the ongoing connection of the Githabul people to their cultural heritage by promoting its protection.
What sets our collaboration with ACCIONA and the Githabul People apart is the development of genuine partnerships and friendships between members. We approach our engagement with each other positively and with the utmost integrity. This robust partnership, combined with ACCIONA’s commitment to valuing cultural heritage, is generating long-lasting benefits for the entire Githabul community. It creates opportunities for younger community members, fosters skills development, and promotes the sharing of benefits.
Githabul’s cultural stewardship over the Warwick area
As recognised traditional custodians of cultural heritage in the Southern Queensland area of Warwick, the Githabul People possess a special relationship with the land and water of their ancestral home known as Waringh Waringh. Through our collaboration with ACCIONA and the Githabul community, we have been fortunate to learn from esteemed Githabul elders about the cultural values associated with the local area and their broader ancestral lands.
The area is renowned for its stunning natural landscapes, including the Main Range National Park, which forms an integral part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. This region also offers a range of attractions such as wineries, four-wheel driving areas, and local camping spots, making it a popular destination for both Brisbane weekenders and tourists.
In this context, the Githabul people take great pride in their collaboration with the Local Council and the Queensland Government to ensure the protection and preservation of their cultural values. Their efforts are aimed at effectively communicating these values to visitors and developers, fostering a deep appreciation for the cultural heritage associated with the area.
Queensland’s renewable energy targets
The Queensland Government has set ambitious renewable energy targets as outlined in the 2022 Energy and Jobs Plan. The plan aims to achieve 80% renewable energy in Queensland by 2035. To reach this goal, over 50 new renewable projects are either operational, under construction, or in the planning stages. These efforts mark Queensland’s transition away from thermal coal-fired power and result in an annual reduction of more than 13.8 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions (data as of November 30, 2022).
As part of the 2017 Powering Queensland Plan, the Queensland Government launched the Renewables 400 initiative, which involved a reverse auction for up to 400 megawatts of renewable energy capacity. ACCIONA’s MacIntyre Wind Farm was among the shortlisted projects, receiving priority for power purchase agreements with the Queensland Government. With a planned completion date in early 2024, the MacIntyre Wind Farm Precinct is poised for further growth and exciting new projects.