A southern Grampians Shire councillor is calling for a wind farm development overlay within shire planning schemes to assist residents, ratepayers and councillors to manage the drive for wind farms in rural Victoria.
Cr Katrina Rainsford said landholders and potential land purchasers needed to have as much information as possible so as to make the best decisions when planning property improvements like a new residence, or when deciding to purchase a property.
” I find it very distressing as a councillor to deal with Southern Grampians ratepayers concerns over proposed new developments which they perceive will destroy their quality of life.”
“Wind energy is popular, the visual aspect of wind towers many believe are acceptable and even attractive to the eye. But most are not having to live less than 200 metres from a 150 metre wind tower when they purchased rural land to be away from industrial development, or built a brand new house to enjoy natural views on a remote farm to then find they will have great views of multiple wind towers”.
Ms Rainsford said a better way to manage the future competing interests of the community was to have the maps like the Wind Atlas which depicted the areas of higher wind speed locations across the country, as part of a section statement when land was transferred or building permits were applied for.
“Considering the policy and financial incentives for these new developments are State Government driven, the responsibility for providing information could be part of their Environmental Effects Act utilising Local Government via the planning scheme provisions.”
” At a briefing the other day it was mentioned that NSW and Queensland have less wind energy generation capacity and it was legal in NSW to use Victorian Wind Farms to satisfy their NSW State carbon emission abatement certificates.”
” If true then even more reason for everyone to know now where the most likely sites are for wind farms so we can help our ratepayers to make more informed decisions.”
By Wayne Drew
20 March 2007
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