An eight Mile Creek landowner is furious after learning his house would be within 750 metres of wind turbines if the proposed wind farm development goes ahead at Allendale East.
The Acciona Energy project has been temporarily stalled pending the outcome of a court decision after Allendale East dairy farmer Richard Paltridge opposed the development, standing alone in his battle against the company.
But in the past week, Paul Manning and his wife Kaeli have thrown their support behind Mr Paltridge — only to find out that up to 30 residents also share their objections, but chose to remain anonymous because they feared victimisation.
“We are a hard working young family — my partner has shed blood, sweat and tears to make that property what it is today,” Mr Manning told The Border Watch.
“She literally cried when she began to comprehend what the wind farm’s impact will have on our future plans, including the future development of our investment, our retirement, in terms of the potential for the property and the personal connection we have with it.”
According to Mr Manning, many of the landowners, including himself, do not live on their properties, but work interstate and were therefore ill-informed or excluded from a community consultation process about the $175m development.
He has joined the Concerned Residents Group fighting to have the consultation process re-opened.
“We are very disappointed and concerned at hearing about decisions and actions so detrimental to our family’s future,” Mr Manning said.
“The only previous communications we have received in regards to this very serious matter was a very simple and poorly copied generic pamphlet that was delivered nearly two years ago — we have received nothing since.”
“With gag orders on many of the neighbours and our current work interstate, we have heard little about the planning, design and impact of the wind farm.”
Mr Manning said the proposed wind farm added to other issues already looming over the community and causing them to lose confidence in Local Government.
“Through our recent investigations, one thing has become increasingly clear about the view the community has of the government at all levels,” he said.
“There is a real undercurrent of a no confidence vote brewing within the community due to the problems with the cray fishing season being shortened and all the forests and timber mills scheduled to be sold off to overseas interests — many jobs will be lost and the real talk is that the region will become a ghost town kept in a near death state by the humming and whirring of turbines — this has already been demonstrated at similar locations.”
Mr Manning has urged residents to contact him via the Concerned Residents Group by email to email@example.com or by phone on 0438 876 600.
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