Opponents of Victoria’s wind farms have warned the Government not to back down on its promise to keep turbines away from homes.
The promise is that no turbine would be built within 2km of homes without residents’ agreement.
“If they’ve backed out, we’d be after them,” Landscape Guardians president Randall Bell said. “It’d be a backflip.”
Mr Bell said the group had found Planning Minister Matthew Guy’s failure to bed down the Coalition’s election promise “unsettling”.
In the lead-up to last November’s state election, the Coalition promised the placement of turbines would be no less than 2km from the nearest home, unless a contract between the resident and wind farm developer was agreed.
But after 100 days in government, Mr Guy issued a press release stating the government had “delivered on its election commitments to ensure homes within 2km of proposed wind turbines are considered in planning applications”.
But by the next week, Mr Guy’s office reassured The Weekly Times the government was still committed to the setback policy.
The Weekly Times asked Mr Guy if residents within 2km of a proposed wind farm had power of veto over its development.
Mr Guy’s spokeswoman said: “Yes, if no contract can be agreed over the placement of a turbine within this distance.”
Recently, wind-farm developer Pacific Hydro warned the Government’s policy would cripple the industry, as it gave small numbers of disgruntled residents the power of veto on multi-million dollar projects.
Mr Guy told ABC-TV last month that Pacific Hydro had got it wrong.
“What we are simply saying is residents that do live that close to turbines, they should have the right to be consulted,” he said.
Mr Guy then told The Weekly Times there would be “a dispute resolution mechanism … and if an agreement can’t be reached, then the default falls to the residents”.
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