A proposed windfarm development located on the broad-acre plains near Penshurst will influence the votes of many residents near the town when they head to the ballot box on August 21.
More than 200 wind turbines will transform the broad-acre landscape near the south-west town, with one group determined to place tighter controls on renewable energy developers.
A major thoroughfare for motorists heading across the region, the Hamilton Highway runs through Penshurst and its many potholes will also be an issue will sway voting decisions on election day.
Penshurst resident and Southern Grampians Landscape Guardians president Keith Staff said Wannon candidates would be scrutinised on their policy positions regarding control of windfarm developments and the poor condition of south-west roads.
He also said the Hamilton Highway was in a poor state and needed immediate funding for extensive renovation instead of temporary repair work.
“(State Opposition Leader) Ted Baillieu’s position on wind farm management was popular in Penshurst given concern over this proposed development so I would believe that whoever is elected to government next Saturday will influence the outcome of the state election in November,” Mr Staff said.
“The wind farm development at Penshurst will be one of the largest in Australia and that has caused considerable angst among residents.
“I’ve been in contact with a number of the candidates and I would think other residents will be looking closely at what the candidates have to offer before they make their final decision on election day.”
Penshurst was one of the few polling booths in Wannon to record a swing towards Liberal MP David Hawker during the 2007 election.
Mr Hawker received 58 per cent of first preference votes followed by Labor on 33 per cent.
Mr Staff said while the Penshurst-Warrnambool Road had an adequate driving surface, he was concerned about the perilous condition of the Hamilton Highway.
“Hamilton to Penshurst needs immediate attention but you only have to drive further along to the Hamilton to Coleraine stretch to see the Hamilton Highway is an accident waiting to happen,” he said.
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