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Wind farm brings cash but also concern

The community is set to benefit with infrastructure such as parks and playgrounds as a result of the Boco Rock Wind Farm.

The wind farm, which will be spread across 17 properties in the combined Cooma-Monaro and Bombala region, was approved by the state government in August last year.

As part of the development consent for the wind farm the developer, Wind Prospect, is required to contribute $2,500 to council for each turbine located within the shire annually for the life of the turbine.

The money will be used to fund community projects as decided by each council.

Bombala and Cooma-Monaro Councils have agreed to handle the funds, known as the Community Enhancement Program Fund, individually.

The details of the fund are still being finalised between Bombala Council, Cooma-Monaro Council and Wind Prospect. Construction of the wind farm is expected to get underway mid year.

Senate Inquiry into wind farms

When it comes to controversy over land use, rural wind farms are high on the scale, and with over 120 turbines about to be erected in the region, it’s a subject we should all know more about.

There are a huge number of issues that surround the farms, both positive and negative, many of which may not have occurred to members of the general public.

In October last year the Senate Community Affairs Committee commenced an inquiry titled ‘The Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms’.

This inquiry will investigate and report on any adverse health effects for people living in close proximity to wind farms; concerns over the excessive noise and vibrations emitted by wind farms; the impact of rural wind farms on property values, employment opportunities and farm income; the interface between Commonwealth, state and local planning laws as they pertain to wind farms; and other relevant matters.

Submissions were called at the start of the inquiry and have now closed, but readers will be interested to note that at least one lengthy submission has been made from a resident of the Bombala area.

All submissions can be read on the Senate’s website, at www.aph.gov.au/Senate/committee/c lac_ctte/-impact_rural_wind_farms /index.htm

Submission number 123 may be of particular interest to local readers.