New guidelines for the siting of wind farm turbines will be released by the State Government ‘in the near future’.
Announcing this, Member for Burrinjuck and Minister for Primary Industries Katrina Hodgkinson said that once the draft guidelines are made public, comments from everyone interested would be encouraged.
“As part of the NSW Government’s election commitment we are undertaking a complete review and overhaul of the outdated planning regulations left by the former State Labor Government,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
The siting of the turbines has been a major concern of Upper Lachlan Council, which requires a 2 kilometre “lay back” of towers from non-host residences. However, under previous State planning laws, local regulations were over-ridden by the State planning department which had approval authority for wind farms.
“As part of the NSW Government’s election commitment we are undertaking a complete review and overhaul of outdated planning regulations left by the former government” Ms Hodgkinson said.
The concerns of landholders in the Upper Lachlan Shire are being echoed in neighbouring areas where developers are seeking to establish new farms. Ms Hodgkinson has had meetings with the Boorowa Landscape Guardians (who hosted a public meeting in Yass) and the NSW Landscape Guardians on wind farm concerns.
“I sympathise with people’s frustration and I assured people at these meetings that I have been working hard on this situation since the election,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
Ms Hodgkinson also announced the introduction of an interim aquifer interference regulation “to ensure that the State’s aquifers are protected until a final policy is developed in consultation with the community.”
“As Minister for Primary Industries I am determined to find a balance, along with my colleagues, between farmers, industry and the environment when it comes to rural land use.
“This new regulation, along with the proposed policy, is a key step in what will be a long process to ensure a balance is met with all stakeholders.”
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