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Campbell waits for wind farm assessment  

Environment Minister Ian Campbell says he is still waiting for his department to finish an assessment of a controversial wind farm project in Victoria.

Wind Power Pty Ltd wants to build a $220 million, 52-turbine wind farm at Bald Hills in South Gippsland.

Senator Campbell overturned state government approval for the project in April, using his discretionary powers under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act because of the development’s threat to a local species of parrot.

Despite a departmental report indicating there would be negligible effect on the endangered orange-bellied parrot, an independent report raised concerns about potential bird deaths.

But after Federal Court proceedings in August, Senator Campbell agreed to reconsider the decision and accept a revised submission from the wind farm’s proponents.

Wind Power lodged its submission in September with the Department of Environment and Heritage, but Senator Campbell said he was yet to see it.

“The proposal put forward by the developers of the Bald Hills wind farm came to the department a few weeks ago and the process is, the department makes an assessment,” Senator Campbell told the senate.

“So it’s impossible to make a decision before I receive that advice. That would be rather stupid.”

Wind Power said in September the changes to its proposal – including moving the turbines and creating a buffer zone around them – should appease concerns about the project.


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