Hepburn council has approved a two-turbine wind farm at Leonards Hill, south of Daylesford.
The $8 million project received 18 objections and more than 300 positive submissions.
But Hepburn Mayor David Smith says despite the mixed feelings, he was comfortable using his casting vote to give the project the go-ahead.
“Council came down with a decision on the casting vote of the Mayor, which was myself, to proceed with a wind farm – a decision not taken lightly by council I must add,” he said.
“We put in many hours of going through the report and checking all things. To me the report addressed the issues, that was the reason for my decision.”
A community group is behind the plan.
The Hepburn Renewable Energy Association’s spokesman, Per Bernard, says while it is a small project, it is a big victory.
He hopes the turbines will be running by early next year.
“What was achieved last night was a landmark not just in Victoria, but in Australia,” he said.
“It’s the first community-owned wind farm that’s been given a permit by a local council. That’s been part of our hope that this will send a signal to many other councils and community groups to go out there and do something for the environment themselves.”
21 February 2007
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