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Cairns and Mackay airports to go renewable

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Cairns and Mackay airports to go renewable
The two airports in northern Queensland will soon have all of their ground operations powered by renewable energy.

A partnership between North Queensland Airport Group, which owns Mackay and Cairns airports, and the state government-owned energy company CleanCo will see both airports using only renewable energy by 2025.

The airports will be powered by the Kaban Wind Farm near Ravenshoe, inland and south of Cairns.

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

“It also aligns with our ambitious 10-year tourism industry strategy to more than double the state’s visitor economy to $44 billion in overnight visitor expenditure by 2032.”

Both Cairns and Mackay have considerable convention centre facilities, with Cairns Convention Centre having just completed a $176 million refurbishment and expansion. Mackay Entertainment and Convention Centre is the largest facility of its kind between Brisbane and Cairns and does brisk domestic trade in business events.

With both airports to be renewably powered, this will lower the carbon cost of meeting in both these destinations and for delegates travelling from one of these destinations.

“We see it as our responsibility to actively protect the environment around Cairns and Mackay airports, which are key economic drivers for regional Queensland,” said North Queensland Airports CEO, Richard Barker.

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

“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.”

Two of Australia’s largest airports – Melbourne Airport and Brisbane Airport – also intend to be operating at net zero carbon across emissions scopes one and two by next year.

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