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Push for 150 turbines

More than 150 wind turbines are being slated for construction between Skipton and Beaufort.

Wind Power, who is backing the push to construct the wind farm, is behind a similar push to construct 19 turbines near Smeaton.

Company director Andrew Newbold said the company was looking at constructing between 150 to 200 turbines, and if successful the $700thmillion Stockyard Hill project would be one of Australia’s largest wind farm developments producing enough power for 250,000 homes.

Mr Newbold said the company had begun its planning reports and environmental impact studies.

The first community meeting will be held this Saturday.

However not everybody is happy.

The Western Plains Landscape Guardians Association formed in February after hearing of the proposal and group spokesman Warwick Read said invitations to the information session were received late.

“You can’t help but feel it was deliberately done,” he said.

“People are signing up in droves because they want the money. It’s just sad and these developers don’t care. They are chasing the dollars.

“The size of the project is growing every weekend and I don’t think there is one neighbour who has been consulted about it.”

About 45 landholders between Beaufort and Skipton had signed up to have turbines, and the project had grown because of community support, Mr Newbold said.

“There is a hell of a lot of local support for it. We have got to go through all the planning reports and all the environmental studies which we have commenced,” he said.

“We would be anticipating at lodging a planning application next year.

“We will be gauging what the people want from it at the community information day.”

The information day will be held this Saturday, August 18, at the Lake Goldsmith Steam Rally Hall, Carngham Lake Goldsmith Rd, Lake Goldsmith from 10am to 3pm.

The Courier

17 August 2007