WIND turbines covering more than 2300 hectares planned for Hawkesdale will devalue surrounding property and affect farming, objectors told Moyne Shire last night.
The shire is expected to announce its position on the 31-turbine development at next Tuesday’s council meeting and used last night’s hearing to gauge the community’s opinion.
Council will make a submission to an independent planning panel which will make a recommendation to the Planning Minister about the project.
Gamesa TME Australia project manager Neil Weston said 121.5m towers planned for the farming zone near Hawkesdale would power 30,500 homes each year and provide the equivalent of 0.43 per cent of Victoria’s entire annual electricity.
The company said it proposed a 1000m buffer zone between turbines and homes not participating in the project while land holders with turbines on their property had a 500m buffer zone.
Solicitor Tom Lindsey, representing Robert and Joan Nutting, said his clients were not opposed to wind energy but objected to parts of the project which affected their farm’s operation.
He said the 1000m buffer zone from the closest turbine to their home took in a large portion of their farm, which ultimately could affect their farming practices and any development they wished to pursue in the future. “There are certain
rights to the wind farm and obviously they impede the use of their land . . . This could have been resolved had the company secured their own land to have the buffer on their land,” he said.
A dwelling on the McCosh family property on the WoolsthorpeHeywood Road is 960m from the nearest proposed turbine.
Margaret McCosh told the meeting the family was not against the wind farm but was concerned tracks to the towers on an adjoining property would affect the running of the farm and their ability to move stock from one parcel of land to yards at the front of the property.
Jonathan Jackson, of Camerons Road, said he opposed the project because it would devalue property and change the landscape from rural into industrial.
David Matuschka questioned the effectiveness of the wind energy. He said projects such as the proposed Mortlake gas-fired power plant was a more worthy project.
By Sarah Scopelianos
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