A controversial wind farm proposal for Yaloak, rejected by the State Government two years ago, could be back on the agenda. The news comes after Planning Minister Justin Madden announced Pacific Hydro would not need to submit an environmental effects statement for any future applications at the Yaloak site.
The original application was turned down by then minister Rob Hulls on the grounds the company had failed to adequately consider Wedge-Tailed Eagle populations and visual amenity. Pacific Hydro executive manager government and corporate affairs Andrew Richards said the company could not confine if a second application would be submitted, or a time frame for when a decision would be made.
He said the company was still undertaking studies in the Yaloak area following recommendations made by Mr Madden. “We are still pursuing Yaloak as a project and we are still looking at the reports and re-designing the wind farm and looking at preparing those applications. “But in the context of a much bigger portfolio of projects now… it’s a matter of what resources we have available. “We can’t really talk about timing at this stage, but we still think it’s worth pursuing.” Mr Richards indicated that any wind farm proposed for Yaloak would be smaller than the original proposal of 50 turbines. “There’s been a review, so we’ll reduce the number of turbines – by how much, we don’t know yet, but there’d be a reasonable percentage of turbines less than what we first anticipated.”
Objector Kevin Ramholdt said he was not surprised the wind farm proposal had not been laid to rest, but hoped Pacific Hydro would decide soon whether there would be a submission. “We thought seeing they had invested so much money into it, that they wouldn’t go away that easily,” he said. “It’s really just a waiting game now. “I’m sick of hearing about wind farms, but because you know the proposal could come back you’ve got to keep abreast of things; keep your knowledge base going-”
Moorabool Council has vowed to keep the community informed about any new proposals and Mr Richards said Pacific Hydro would endeavour to keep them informed. Pacific Hydro said the community would also be consulted if a new application was submitted.
Moorabool Express Telegraph
Tuesday 4/3/2008 Page: 3
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