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Firm stance signalled on turbine ‘setback’  

Credit:  BY NEELIMA CHOAHAN, Melton Weekly, www.meltonweekly.com.au 14 December 2010 ~~

Wind farm companies should be “mindful” of the new Liberal government’s planning guidelines before starting work on approved projects, says Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

Speaking to the Weekly last week, Mr Guy said he was unable to stop works where a permit had been issued, as with the Yaloak South and Moorabool wind farm developments.

“But I would hope the companies would be mindful of the new government’s guidelines in relation to setbacks, even though they have been given approval by the previous government.”

A key requirement of the government’s yet-to-be-implemented policy is that turbines be located at least two kilometres from the nearest home, unless a contract between the resident and wind farm developer is agreed to.

The policy also calls for the reinstatement of local government as the responsible planning authority for wind farm applications.

Two wind farms on the outskirts of Moorabool were approved by the previous government this year.

The Moorabool wind farm has 107 wind turbines, while the Yaloak South farm has 14.

The projects will cost $880million, powering 136,400 homes and creating 260 jobs during construction.

West Wind Energy, which is behind the Moorabool wind farm, could not be reached for comment. A Pacific Hydro spokeswoman said it had yet to receive any details about the new requirements.

One of Pacific Hydro’s turbines at Yaloak South will be situated just 1.5kilometres from the nearest home. But the spokeswoman said there had been extensive consultation since the project was proposed in 2005.

“The Yaloak South wind farm has been permitted and has a range of conditions attached to it which we will comply with,” she said.

“The project was completely redesigned to respond to community concerns about visual impact and potential impact on the wedge-tailed eagles. It is 80per cent smaller than originally proposed.”

Mr Guy said he was seeking advice in relation to the noise impacts of some wind farms.

Source:  BY NEELIMA CHOAHAN, Melton Weekly, www.meltonweekly.com.au 14 December 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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