The Mid North region plan is a blueprint for the future of our communities, providing a framework for development.
What is troublesome is that the plan makes no apology for designating the Mid North as the State’s preferred wind farm host.
Key goals in the plan include encouraging the development of wind farms, expanding local electricity generation through renewable energy sources, such as wind farms, with further opportunities to develop wind farms in several locations across the central and southern parts of the region.
“Wind farms” are mentioned more than 20 times in the document.
There are so many references and so much weight placed on wind farms in the plan it’s easy to mistake it for a document specific only to ensuring the future health and wealth of the windfarm industry.
Illustrations in the document show current and potential windfarm development, which highlight a bank of turbines heading towards Saddleworth and Robertstown from Waterloo, and the Hallett wind farm spreading outwards to Mount Bryan and close to Whyte Yarcowie.
Although the Snowtown wind farm development has been flagged in the plan as becoming the biggest in the southern hemisphere, its footprint on the maps takes up only a fraction of either the Hallett and Waterloo wind farm areas.
So far, apart from construction labour, and land “rental” paid to farmers, there have been no indicators that this form of energy production has directly benefited Mid North residents.
There is plenty of other good stuff in the plan, but there are also a few anomalies, which may not protect the region’s culture, heritage and beauty in the long term.
Although this is the “final” document, it still needs to be read carefully and questions need to be asked to ensure the integrity of a 25-year plan for the future of our region.
The plan is available to read www.sa.gov.au/planning/regionplan s