Response from Wind Farm Company Regarding Allegations of Animal Euthanasia

A controversial renewable energy project in Australia has come under fire for its alleged euthanization of animals, including endangered species, to clear the way for the construction of wind turbines. The construction of the Clarke Creek Wind Farm in Queensland has raised concerns among politicians and environmental groups due to the use of blunt force trauma to euthanize injured animals during the clearing process.

Squadron Energy, the company overseeing the project, has defended its actions by stating that the euthanization process for injured animals involves delivering a “hard, sharp blow to the base of the back of the skull” using a blunt metal or heavy wooden bar such as a sledgehammer or crowbar. The company also claimed that the first stage of clearing for the project, which is 60 percent complete, recorded no injuries or fatalities among koalas during construction.

Despite the controversy, Squadron Energy has maintained that it has a zero-harm policy for native animals and holds itself to the highest environmental standards. The company stated that it has experienced wildlife officers on site who conduct assessments 24 hours before work starts and monitor and supervise work as it occurs to prevent injury to fauna. They are also qualified to respond to fauna encounters and relocate animals if required.

However, the wind farm project is expected to result in the removal of up to 1,513 hectares of suitable koala habitat. Other anticipated consequences include bird and bat collisions with turbine blades, wildlife injuries during vegetation clearing, and habitat degradation.

Billionaire Andrew Forrest, who acquired the Clarke Creek wind farm, envisions the $3 billion project to be the largest renewables project in the southern hemisphere. The project aims to generate enough wind, solar, and battery energy to power over 660,000 homes, equivalent to 40 percent of Queensland households.

Mr. Forrest anticipates adding 194 turbines in the first stages, with the project exporting electricity to the grid by 2025. “When fully operational, Clarke Creek will displace enormous amounts of carbon each year by harnessing the renewable energy of the wind and sun to power our homes and commercial premises, providing cheaper energy without the hidden costs associated with coal-fired power stations,” Mr. Forrest said.

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