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Moorabool and Yaloak South wind farms approved  

Credit:  Patrick Nolan, The Courier, www.thecourier.com.au 2 November 2010 ~~

Ballarat’s outskirts will soon be dotted with more wind turbines.

Another two wind farms totalling 121 turbines were approved yesterday.

The Moorabool wind farm comprising 107 turbines and the 14-turbine Yaloak South wind farm were both given the green light by the Victorian Government.

The combined cost of both of the projects will be $880 million, powering 136,000 homes and creating 260 jobs while in the development stage.

West Wind Energy received approval for the Moorabool project and Pacific Hydro was given the thumbs-up for Yaloak South.

Minister for Energy and Resources Peter Batchelor said the projects would bolster regional Victoria and provide clean and sustainable energy.

The announcement comes days after a massive 157-turbine wind farm was given the green light at Stockyard Hill, west of Ballarat.

“These decisions support regional development and renewable energy in the right locations to achieve a more sustainable future for Victoria,” Mr Batchelor said.

But Moorabool Shire mayor Pat Toohey said the community had pushed for alterations to the final plan, only to be ignored.

He said although he supported the project, he was furious that the concerns that were raised went unheard.

Regulations dictate the turbines cannot be built within one kilometre of houses and he said council lobbied to have that rule changed.

The impact on flora and fauna was underestimated and the quality of assessment was sub-standard, Cr Toohey added.

“The input of the community had barely had any difference,” he said.

“People’s rights have been trashed and sacked in the sacrifice zone.”

Cr Toohey said the timing of the announcement was nothing more than a ploy to win Green votes.

“It’s just the government saying ‘look at us we’re green’ but in reality they don’t care about the community,” he said.

Mr Batchelor, however, said all assessments had been carried out in full.

“The Yaloak South and Moorabool wind farm projects were assessed concurrently to ensure proper consideration was given to the cumulative impact of these separate but nearby developments,” he said.

West Wind Energy and Pacific Hydro were unavailable for comment yesterday.

Source:  Patrick Nolan, The Courier, www.thecourier.com.au 2 November 2010

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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