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Bid to stop Moorabool wind farms

Moorabool Council will ask state Planning Minister Matthew Guy to “call in” a three-turbine wind farm proposed for Greendale.

The Pykes Hill Wind Energy Facility, proposed by Future Energy, was knocked back by Moorabool Council last June.

But the developers appealed the decision and it is due to be heard at the Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal in May.

At last week’s council meeting, councillors resolved to write to Mr Guy to ask him to intervene.

Cr Pat Toohey said the council’s view was the application should be assessed under new Liberal guidelines for wind farms that would implement a 2km buffer zone between turbines and non-stakeholder homes.

He was concerned that VCAT would assess the proposal under the previous government’s guidelines, which did not implement a 2km buffer zone. “There are 17 homes within 2km, that’s a lot of homes in a close proximity,” Cr Toohey said.

“Given the concerns with health issues and the policy of the new government, it’s only appropriate this be assessed by the minister.”

Cr Toohey said this was the last remaining wind farm development in Moorabool Shire.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the Baillieu Government was in the process of implementing policy that will change the guidelines regarding wind farms.

“This does not require legislation,” he said.

“Applications will not be subject to the changes until the guidelines are in place. This is expected to take place soon.”

The former Labor government approved the Mt Wallace and Yaloak South wind farms, totalling 140 turbines, only a day before the government entered caretaker mode before last year’s state election.