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Wind foes in spin  

Sidonia Hills is one step closer to wind energy after the State Government planning department rejected an Environmental Effects Statement on a 34-turbine wind farm.

Tasmanian group Roaring 40s lodged an EES referral to the planning department in January this year for a 3700ha farm that could supply the Kyneton area with clean electricity for 25 years.

Roaring 40s spokesman Josh Bradshaw said the group was notified last week, and would now lodge an Environment Protection Biodiversity and Conservation Act referral.

“This is to confirm the project does not present any federal issue and then Roaring 40s will engage the detailed technical and environment studies,” he said.

“This will form part of the planning application to be lodged mid this year to the Victorian Minister for Planning.”

Landscape Guardians president Bruce McGregor said he was “not surprised.” “We’re not happy. We will fight against wind farms tooth and nail,” he said.

The guardians planned to meet opposition planning spokesmen Matthew Guy to raise concerns.

Macedon Ranges Residents Association secretary Christine Pruneau said the area’s significance had been ignored.

“The chances of an EES being required here were slim anyway, but given the sensitivity of the area, you would think it would be more important,” she said.

But south ward councillor John Letchford said he supported wind power.

“Wind and solar energy are the best renewable forms we have, but solar panels are still expensive to make,” he said.

“Until we come up with a hydrogen-powered solution in a non-intrusive area, this is the best way to go.”

A newsletter was sent to neighbouring residents last month outlining the group’s plans. Copies are available at the Macedon Ranges Shire Council offices.

Caitlin Ryan

Macedon Ranges Leader

7 April 2008

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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