Six of the 64 turbines proposed for a wind farm at Lal Lal will be relocated after Aboriginal artefacts were discovered.
But the applicant WestWind Energy says it does not expect the find to ground the project.
Ancient quartz and silcrete artefacts have been found scattered where six turbines were proposed.
The artefacts were most likely parts of tools used as knives or axes.
WestWind Energy must now conform to the Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Act 2006 by creating a Complex Cultural Heritage Management Plan.
The plan must include an archaeological sub-surface survey, which studies the locations of turbines, access tracks and cable trenches.
Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative, Wathaurung Aboriginal Corporation and Wathaurong Aboriginal Cooperative are advising the company.
WestWind Energy project manager Grant Flynn said the artefacts were culturally important but not significant enough to stop development.
“I don’t want people to get the impression that it is a wholesale change but minor changes of 10 to 20 metres,” he said.
“I don’t expect cultural heritage issues to stop the wind farm project but what we have to do is identify areas of either scientific or cultural concern, respect them, and avoid them as best we can.”
Ballarat and District Aboriginal Cooperative chief executive Karen Heap said did not want the project to be stopped but said it was critical to preserve history.
“Artefacts are an important part of Aboriginal history,” she said.
“When we find sites, it is very important to us.”
Ms Heap supported the idea of wind turbines as a “realistic and safe” source of power.
Moorabool Shire Council chief executive officer Robert Dobrzynski said the council wanted the artefacts treated appropriately with appropriate expertise brought in.
The archaeological survey is being conducted by Environmental Resources Management Australia.
24 June 2008
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