The Queensland Government has announced that, in an agreement between CleanCo and the Northern Queensland Airport Group, Cairns and Mackay Airports will be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy by 2025. 

The State Government said that this partnership marks a significant leap forward in sustainable tourism, with the airports to be powered by renewable energy generated at the local Kaban Wind Farm near Ravenshoe. 

As a significant employer in the region, with more than 130 people working across the Cairns and Mackay Airports as part of the North Queensland Airport Group, this agreement supports local tourism jobs and economic growth in the region. 

Additionally, it supports ongoing jobs at the Kaban Wind Farm, which employed 350 workers during peak construction. 

Queensland Minister for Energy and Clean Economy Jobs, Mick de Brenni, said that tourists come from around the world to visit the pristine sites of the Far North, and with the tourism industry the biggest employer in the region, initiatives that take action on climate are critical. 

“The transition to a low emissions economy is well underway, and this commitment to power Cairns and Mackay Airports with renewable energy is another step forward towards our goal of 75 per cent emissions reduction by 2035,” Mr de Brenni said. 

“The Queensland Government is working hard to protect the wildlife and world-renowned ecosystems of the Far North – and the one in seven locals whose jobs rely on them, and today’s announcement shows our commitment to supporting local jobs and safeguarding our natural assets.”

Queensland Minister for Tourism, Michael Healy, said that there’s a real global desire for more sustainable, meaningful tourism experiences and that this partnership with CleanCo can help propel Queensland to be a world leader and number one destination in that sector.

“It also aligns with our ambitious ten-year tourism industry strategy to more than double the state’s visitor economy to $44 billion in overnight visitor expenditure by 2032,” Mr Healy said. 

CleanCo CEO, Tom Metcalfe, said that this collaboration is of great importance to CleanCo and allows Queenslanders to make a direct connection between the renewables the state is investing in, the journeys they travel and the airports they visit in beautiful North Queensland.

“Thank you to North Queensland Airports for trusting CleanCo as a partner in the organisation’s sustainability journey. We are delighted to support Queensland’s valuable tourism industry through the supply of renewable energy generated right here in Queensland,” Mr Metcalfe said. 

North Queensland Airports CEO, Richard Barker, said that he feels a responsibility to actively protect the environment around Cairns and Mackay airports, which are key economic drivers for regional Queensland. 

“We are committed to achieving net zero emissions (for scope 1 and 2) by 2025, a significant target which would make us among the first carbon-neutral airports in Australasia,” Mr Barker said.

“Our partnership with CleanCo means 100 per cent of our electricity, and that of tenants, will be powered by renewable energy, placing us on the trajectory to well and truly meet this goal. Investing in good environmental practice is the right thing to do, and vital for long-term business success.”

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