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Controversial wind farm plan on hold  

AGL Energy Limited (AGL) has put its controversial $140 million wind farm proposal for Victoria’s east on hold indefinitely.

A company spokeswoman today confirmed the planning process for its 48-turbine Dollar Wind Farm proposal had been put on hold.

The project was opposed by residents of southern Gippsland, but company spokeswoman Jane Counsel said the move was a business decision.

The move comes after AGL’s proposal to build its 183-turbine Macarthur Wind Farm – to be developed between the towns of Macarthur and Hawkesdale in western Victoria – was given the green light last week.

“We’ve decided to put the planning stage of Dollar on hold, and we’ve formally requested with the Government that that is the case as well,” Ms Counsel said today.

“We have got a fair amount on our plate right now and, with Macarthur getting the development approval last week, it is a matter of having to decide what our priorities are.

“This is not by any means a final decision, we are just putting the planning process on hold because of a number of more pressing priorities.”

But the Nationals today said the move sounded a death knell for the Dollar Wind Farm project.

The Nationals’ Victorian leader Peter Ryan said more than 1500 objections were lodged during the planning process and local opposition was “overwhelming”.

“It’s a pity that it has taken a commercial decision by AGL for the project to be suspended … if the Bracks government had any credibility on this issue it would have already pulled the plug.”

The Dollar Wind Farm was to be built near the communities of Dollar, Meeniyan, Dumbalk, Foster and Stony Creek.

It would have contributed 79MW towards the Victorian Government’s target of 1000MW of wind energy by 2010.


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