Crows Nest Shire Council s chief executive officer says the ongoing dispute over the wind farm for Upper Pinelands continues with the council and objectors failing to reach a mediated agreement.
Mr David McEvoy said the council was hoping to reach an agreement with opponents of the wind farm, which would preclude the need for the case to go before a Planning and Environment Court judge.
“We are back in court next Wednesday and at the moment there are only two points of contention between council and the objectors,” Mr McEvoy said.
He said he was hopeful those remaining points could be resolved, but hopes were easily dashed.
“If we were to reach an agreement before the hearing, the judge would issue a consent order on the spot and that would become law and become the conditions that would be the legal basis of the town planning approval, Mr McEvoy said.
Appellants to Crows Nest Shire Council’s approval of the 75-turbine wind farm have dropped several of their appeal objections since the farm was approved in August 2005.
Their remaining objections are that the approval is not in accordance with the shire s planning scheme and the wind farm would be a detriment to flora and fauna.
The developers plan to lease land in an area which straddles Crows Nest and Rosalie shires to site the turbines. Non-carbon-producing renewable energy would be sold into the State s power grid.
But opponents question the wind farm’s green credentials, saying energy needed to bring turbines back to full generating capacity after a drop in wind speed makes them unviable.
by Greg Berghofer
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