New planning regulations announced by Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy on Monday will ban any wind farms from being constructed within 5km of Echuca.
Across the state, the new regulations will ban wind farms being built within 2km of an established dwelling without written consent from the owner.
Wind farms will not be allowed within 5km of Echuca, because the land surrounding the town is a designated ‘regional population growth corridor’.
Areas surrounding Shepparton and Bendigo will be similarly excluded.
Wind farms are also prohibited in state, national and coastal parks, and in areas that have high environmental value or are a significant tourist destination.
Mr Guy said changes were delivering on an election commitment, and would restore certainty and fairness to the planning process for wind farms.
But the Clean Energy Council (CEC), which is the peak body representing Australia’s clean energy sector, said the changes would mean hundreds of new regional jobs, and multi-billion dollar investment in regional Victoria would be lost.
CEC chief executive Matthew Warren said more than half of future proposed wind farms would not be built as a result of these policy changes.
‘‘Carving out large areas of the state as ‘no-go zones’ sends a clear message that Victoria is closed for business when it comes to future wind energy,’’ Mr Warren said.