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Wind farm working group appointed

The federal government has appointed a working group to create a national code for wind farms.

The group with be chaired by senior environment department officer Denis Smedley and includes representatives from local government, the Australian Wind Energy Association and the National Trust, as well as a farmer.

Environment Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the national code would provide a consistent and transparent framework for community consultation about the siting and development of wind farms in Australia.

“Wind power certainly has a role in securing Australia’s energy future and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions,” he said in a statement.

“It is therefore important that attention be given to finding sites that address both the wind availability requirements of wind developers and the concerns of local communities.

“With the development of a wind code, we are seeking a sensible balance of the relevant economic, environmental and social factors.”

He said establishment of the working group followed a discussion paper and roundtable talks with key stakeholders on developing such a code.

“While primary responsibility in these matters rests with state and territory governments, there should be a more consistent approach than currently exists across Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.

The Age

4 September 2007