The repeated thefts of protest signs against a proposed windfarm development near Smeaton has angered the Spa Country Landscape Guardians group.
The group represents residents and landholders opposed to the proposal of 19 turbines to be constructed near their town.
SCLG spokesman Will Elsworth said about 40 signs had either been pulled down or stolen and the thefts would be reported to police.
“We are very concerned at the community cohesion and a potential breakdown,” Mr Elsworth said.
“Many people opposed to the development have been here for years and put a lot into the community and it’s easy to tear the fabric of the community apart.
“We find it ironic proponents are happy to pull down a small sign, but are willing to host a turbine stretching into the sky.”
However, one Smeaton resident has said he believed the Spa Country Landscape Guardians group was part of a noisy minority and opponents needed to look to the future of clean energy.
Rob Talbot said he would be happy to host a turbine on his land and it made sense to have the turbines near Smeaton.
“Wind power makes sense,” he said. “I don’t know whether the opposition is politically-based. I have been up close to them and you can hardly hear them. They look picturesque and when you see them you can see that something
is actually being done to reduce our green house gases. I’d have one on my property.”
Hepburn Shire councillor Tim Hayes said the council had not received a planning application from the developer, Wind Power, and until then residents needed to be patient.
1 May 2007
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