Controversy is surrounding the proposed development of a wind farm near Silverton in far western New South Wales.
It was revealed at a meeting last week that representatives from the Department of Lands and Western Lands met and informed landholders their properties would be withdrawn under a section of the Western Lands Act – with the Government now looking to acquire the area.
Section 43B of the Act allows the Lands Minister to withdraw from lease any land required, for any purpose, for the time being declared by the Minister to be a public purpose.
The Member for Murray Darling, John Williams, says the move will deprive nine Silverton residents $5,000 per turbine a year, offered by developers Epuron as compensation for building the turbines on their properties.
He says the Government has seen this as an opportunity to get the money for itself.
The ABC has been told several of the landholders have engaged legal representation and the lawyer appointed to represent the concerned parties says she will be exploring all avenues.
11 February 2008
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