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Surf Coast wind farm worry

A tiny Surf Coast town has vowed to take on a developer who has proposed to build a wind farm near their homes.

Future Energy Pty Ltd managing director David Shapero has lodged an application with Surf Coast Shire to build 14 turbines in Gnarwarre, just outside Winchelsea.

Local residents said it would change the rural town’s skyline, increase the dust, bring tourists to the area and there had been a lack of consultation.

The wind farms are proposed to be built on a 700ha site which borders Gnarwarre Rd, Mt Pollock Rd and Peels Rd.

Gnarwarre resident Kathy Russell said the 130m turbines sat on top of a 184m volcanic cone.

“We believe that the siting of seven of the proposed 14 turbines on the top and slopes of Mt Pollock has the detrimental effect of changing the natural sky line forever. Mt Pollock can be seen from as far as the You Yangs, Anakie, Mt Buninyong and areas in between,” Mrs Russell said.

She said Mt Pollock Rd would turn into a “dust bowl” with increased pressure on the road from tourists wanting to see the turbines.

“We suffer now from a lack of maintenance on this road construction and tourists will make it even more dangerous,” Mrs Russell said.

Surf Coast Shire’s Cr Lindsay Schroeter said he did not have an issue with the proposal.

“I say bring it on,” Cr Schroeter said. “The ones proposed are not loud and will only make a swish if I couldn’t sleep under them I’ll eat my own socks.”

Cr Schroeter also quashed claims the turbines would kill bird life.

“We have had windmills for 2000 years and you don’t see dead birds under them,” he said.

“The problem is people want renewable energy but nobody wants it in their back yard. You would not have them in a main street and this is the ideal spot for them.”

Aleks Devic

The Geelong Advertiser

18 April 2008