August 3, 2011

A proposed wind farm in the south hits a snag

ABC News, 3 August 2011

A proposed wind farm in the Great Southern has hit a major snag.

Moonies Hill Energy applied to build 75 turbines across farmland in the shires of Kojonup and Broomehill-Tambellup.

The project was expected to provide employment, training and tourism opportunities.

It has subsequently been discovered that the town planning scheme in Broomehill-Tambellup prohibits the production of electricity which would rule out any wind farms being established.

Shire president Barry Webster says the shire is working to amend the scheme but that could take years.

“It’s one of those quirky little leftovers, probably from a bygone time,” he said.

“As the town planning scheme stands now, it prohibits the production of electricity, so council has no discretion and just cannot deal with it,” he said.

Moonies Hill Energy has withdrawn its application in Broomehill-Tambellup but is understood to be proceeding with its plans in the Shire of Kojonup.

Broomehill resident Stephanie Collins, who has been a vocal opponent of the proposal, says the fight is not over.

“From a selfish point of view I’m relieved that the turbines won’t be going ahead in the Broomehill-Tambellup shire,” she said.

“At this stage, the turbines will now obviously be located further away from my house but it’s still an issue and I feel that as someone that’s informed, I have a moral obligation to make sure that this project does not continue.”

Ms Collins says residents have many concerns about the proposed wind farm.

“There’s the potential health effects such as headaches, sleeplessness, blood pressure, the location to dwellings, impacts on our farming practices, land values,” she said.

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