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Anger in the wind

Tables were loaded with posters, pamphlets and plenty of food last week as Collector locals met with project staff at an “open house” for a proposed wind farm near the village worth over $400 million.

The planned 3300ha site – surrounded by the Hume Highway, Collector Road and Collector Creek – is located just south of the Cullerin Wind Farm and is set to add up to 80 more turbines to the skyline.

According to proponent Transfield Services, the project will create up to 110 jobs, but it’s not career opportunities that locals like Rod Pahl are concerned about.

“We want to make sure a lot of the impacts are fully appreciated by residents of the community,” Mr Pahl told the Post as he manned a desk outside the Collector Memorial Hall on Thursday.

“Eighty turbines is five times the size of the Cullerin Wind farm and there was much concern about that.”

Speaking to the Post again yesterday, Mr Pahl said many people he spoke to last week raised concerns about issues such as the impact on local roads and property prices, as well as the accompanying lighting.

“There’s anger, real anger about it,” he said.

“The Capital Wind Farm along Lake George doesn’t have red lights … People are saying ‘I didn’t move here to look like I’m living in Sydney’.”

Transfield Services’ project manager Nick Valentine however said the feedback he gained on the day was “mostly constructive”, confirming with the Post yesterday that lighting was an issue that had been raised.

“There was obviously a lot of questions and there were a few consistent issues that came up around lighting and other environmental issues,” Mr Valentine said.

“Also, the visual impact of the proposal.”

Mr Valentine said the one hundred plus residents who visited the community meeting had the chance to raise their concerns with staff, who would look at addressing the issues in future applications.

For the full story, please see Wednesday’s print edition of the Goulburn Post, available from our front office in Auburn St, or at all leading newsagencies across the Goulburn area.