A $145 million wind farm planned for Hawkesdale is expected to be supported by Moyne Shire Council today.
The support would come despite residents’ concerns the project would devalue land and harm farming activities and future building projects.
Four objectors told councillors last week the wind farm would have major consequences for their farms.
They said buffer zones between turbines and nearby dwellings would affect future development.
Another told of how one home was within the company’s self-imposed 1000-metre buffer zone from a turbine.
The last objector to speak questioned the energy’s efficiency.
The recommendation to be considered by councillors states the shire should support the 31-turbine development by sending a submission to Victoria’s Planning Minister who has the authority to approve or reject the project.
The wind farm is to be set on 2280 hectares spanning seven properties, about two kilometres south-east of Hawkesdale.
It and another proposed project at Ryan’s Corner, near Port Fairy, are expected to create 60 full-time jobs during construction and eight to 12 permanent positions when the operation starts.
Planning consultant Chris Harty’s report includes issues raised by the objectors at a hearing last week.
These include restricted use of the land adjoining the wind farm due to buffer zones, impact on stock movement, visual impacts, land devaluation, increased fire risks and a belief the project may threaten the proposed Mortlake gas-fired
power station’s connection to the electricity grid.
Shire officers believe the council should recommend the project to the minister because there is limited community objection, employment opportunities and an injection of about $1 million a year into the regional economy over the life of
The 121.5m wind turbines in the farming zone in Hawkesdale will provide electricity for more than 30,000 Victorian homes annually and $100,000 in rates for the shire.
“Cleary the Hawkesdale Wind Farm Energy Facility, if it proceeds, will by its sheer magnitude impact on different sectors of the local community in different ways,” the report reads.
“It is believed by landowners who adjoin the site that the project will have more detrimental impact upon them than it will on persons whose properties are more remote”.
Councillors will vote today about the shire’s recommendation.
An independent planning panel is expected to be appointed shortly. After public hearings, the panel will make a recommendation to the Planning Minister who has the ultimate decision on the project’s future.
By Sarah Scopelianos
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