Wind farms belong in the “never-never” and not on the coast, according to Moyne Shire councillor Jim Doukas.
Cr Doukas’ comments were made yesterday during debate before Moyne Shire councillors granted planning approvals for two small-scale wind farms worth a total of $98 million in the northern area of the shire.
The projects, located at the Salt Creek Merino Stud, Woorndoo, and Mortons Lane, Caramut, proposed by NewEn Australia are for 13 to 15 turbines and are expected to produce 29.9 megawatts of power.
The projects fall into the local government’s planning jurisdiction and not the Victorian Government which decides the merits of projects of 30 megawatts or more.
Moyne councillors approved plans for a wind farm on Mortons Lane but the project needs to be signed off by the Southern Grampians Shire.
The 13 to 15-turbine farm crosses Moyne Shire’s boundaries and spills into the Southern Grampians boundaries. Cr Stan Cook moved the motion to approve the Morton’s Lane project and said councillors from both Moyne and Southern Grampians had inspected the site.
During debate about the Mortons Lane project Cr Doukas said the turbines were going to be built where they belonged “in the never-never . . . not down near the coast or at Hawkesdale”.
Moyne Mayor Gerald Madden voted in favour of the Morton’s Lane project saying the site was suitable for a wind farm.
He said the farm spanned more land but had less turbines than the Woolsthorpe project which had been discussed at council previously.
Cr Brenda Hampson said she looked forward to the Woorndoo wind farm flourishing and said the northern part of the shire would “at long last have some tourist attraction to boast about”.
Councillors voted unanimously in favour of both wind farm projects and Southern Grampians councillors will consider the Mortons Lane project at tonight’s meeting in Hamilton.
By Sarah Scopelianos
9 May 2007
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