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Wind farm forum  

Credit:  BEN LONERGAN, Glen Innes Examiner, www.gleninnesexaminer.com.au 14 April 2011 ~~

A crowd of 20 local residents turned out for the sixth and final New England Wind Community Wind Farm forum

that was held at Glen Innes Severn Library and Learning Centre last Wednesday.

New England Wind held the series of forums to assess whether there is sufficient support for a community wind farm in the Northern Tablelands.

They are searching for a location to house four to six wind turbines that would power 10,000 people of 20 per cent of the Northern Tablelands.

Coordinator of the New England Wind community initiative Adam Blakester said the received a mixed reception at the forum.

“Although it was the last in the series of forums it was definitely the most challenging, which was what we expected,” Mr Blakester said.

He said that some people at the forum spoke with some heated emotions, which surprised him and his staff.

“Quite a few landholders and community members spoke quite angrily at times,” he said.

“It was a bit of a wake up call.”

Mr Blakester said they will now go back and re-evaluate their plans.

“If it’s going to tear a community down the middle you have to look at what you’re doing,” he said.

Mr Blakester said New England Wind is a not for profit community organisation. He also said that they had no plans for a location heading into the forums.

“We have no plan, the forums a participatory planning process,” he said.

“We are designing a project together with the community.”

Mr Blakester said there were also a number of positives to come out of the forum.

“There were some positives, people liked that it is power not generated by coal, that it will be a community project and the idea of creating more jobs,” he said.

Mr Blakester said while some people have already put their hands up to have wind turbines on there land, they have to increase awareness across the region about wind generated power.

“We have to do more to engage more people,” he said.

“The turbines could go anywhere in the tablelands and we are putting that out there to landholders.”

“Forty people have put their hands up already that covers the whole tablelands.”

Source:  BEN LONERGAN, Glen Innes Examiner, www.gleninnesexaminer.com.au 14 April 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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