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Change in wind farm policy welcomed in Moorabool

Moorabool council has welcomed changes to Victoria’s wind farm policy, which it says are in accord with its policy.

State Planning Minister Matthew Guy announced this month that homes within 2km of proposed wind turbines would now be considered in planning applications.

Local government would also have its authority restored in relation to wind farm permits.

Moorabool Mayor Pat Griffin said the council’s policy already stipulated there should be a 2km buffer zone between homes and turbines.

“With local knowledge and our interest in looking after local residents, we can do a much better job in deciding these things,” Cr Griffin said.

He said the new policy would not affect ongoing projects in the shire such as the two large projects rejected by the council, but approved by the former Labor Government.

“The new planning minister won’t look at anything retrospective, so we can’t change them, but it may help with the small Greendale project coming before VCAT in May … We have asked the minister to call it in from VCAT and apply the new policy – hopefully he can do that,” he said.

At last Wednesday’s council meeting, Cr Pat Toohey said the new policy was discussed at an MAV meeting on March 11.

Local government representatives agreed the new policy did not allow for councils to raise revenue for proper planning processes, VCAT defences and compliance checks, Cr Toohey said.

He said the MAV was seeking to meet Mr Guy to discuss the shortfalls.

Cr Griffin said new applications would be considered in terms of the new policy.

[published online as “Winds of change welcomed in Moorabool”, the title has been altered to more accurately reflect the article’s contents – NWW ed.]