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Council supports turbine moratorium  

Credit:  JESSICA MCKENZIE, The Young Witness, www.youngwitness.com.au 8 July 2011 ~~

Young Shire Council has lent support to federal member for Hume, Alby Schultz’s call for a moratorium on wind farm developments.

Councillor Fran Hewlett raised a motion at the June council meeting and, after a brief discussion, the recommendation to support Mr Schultz was passed.

“I’m concerned that there’s going to be so many of them in the local area,” Fran Hewlett said.

Approximately 1000 wind turbines 165m tall have been approved for construction in the Hume electorate under Part 3A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act.

Part 3A allowed wind farm developers to gain development approval from the state planning minister, without going through the usual application process at the local government level.

The NSW Coalition government has since followed through on their election promise to repeal Part 3A, however, Mr Schultz is calling for an immediate moratorium on all projects approved prior to this decision.

No wind farm developments have been approved within the Young Shire but Mr Schultz still believes locals have reason for concern.

“We don’t know if there have been any discussions with landholders because these negotiations come with a strict confidentiality clause,” Mr Schultz said.

“Be very aware that these things are around and be vigilant because you’ll suddenly be aware that Joe Blow down the road has agreed to have 20-30 of these things constructed and the community consultation happens after the fact.

“I’m pleased to hear Young Shire Council is discussing the issue,” Mr Schultz said.

Cr Hewlett’s motion was received with varying degrees of support from councillors.

Mayor Stuart Freudenstein said he is generally in favour of wind generated power but still sees a need to “clear the issue up.”

“A moratorium can do no harm,” Cr Freudenstein said.

As well as calling for an immediate moratorium on all wind turbine planning, approval and development in NSW pending the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the industry, Mr Schultz has also proposed wind turbine specific planning regulations, a two kilometre or greater buffer zone between wind turbines and residential properties and mandatory provisions to shut down wind turbines during periods of high fire danger.

Source:  JESSICA MCKENZIE, The Young Witness, www.youngwitness.com.au 8 July 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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