A panel hearing into the proposed Hawkesdale wind farm heard submissions yesterday from Moyne Shire and angry neighbours.
The hearing, which began last week, continued yesterday in Port Fairy and will conclude today at the Hawkesdale Football Club.
Proponent TME continued its submission yesterday morning before a presentation on the benefits of wind energy by Sustainability Victoria.
Moyne Shire representative, consultant Chris Harty, said the council was in favour of the project but had some reservations.
Mr Harty said the council believed TME’s buffer zone of 1000m between a turbine and a residence was inappropriate. He said the buffer zone should be 500m and taken from a turbine to the edge of the wind farm title boundary.
The Nuttings, who live adjacent to the planned site, agreed the onus should be on TME to provide the buffer zone. Through their legal representative, Tom Lindsay, the Nuttings told the panel they would be unable to build a house for their
son at a planned location if the turbines were built where they were planned.
After the hearing Robert Nutting likened his battle against TME to the Australian film The Castle.
“They think they can walk all over us because they’ve got heaps of dollars,” he said. “They’re doing a bloody good job of trying to.”
Mr Harty said the council suggested moving six turbines to allow for the Nuttings to build the house and to move the turbines further away from nearby roads.
The neighbouring McCosh family, which will give its submission today, would also benefit from moving at least two of the turbines,he said.
Mr Harty said the council was in favour of the wind farm going ahead if the six turbines could be moved because of the economic, environmental and employment benefits it would bring to the region.
At the end of Moyne’s submission, TME gave no indication as to whether the suggested moves could or would be made.
The hearing will conclude today with submissions from the Framlingham Aboriginal Trust, the McCosh family, a further response from TME and a site inspection.
By Matt Neal
18 April 2007
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