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Wimmera wind farm project in the doldrums 

Credit:  BY CASS DALGLEISH, The Wimmera Mail-Times, www.mailtimes.com.au 31 August 2011 ~~

Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke is unsure whether a State Government-reformed policy will affect a proposed wind farm in the area.

Renewable Energy Systems Australia has identified Murra Warra as a suitable wind resource for a viable wind project.

The State Government approved a reformed wind farm policy, Amendment VC82, on Monday.

Amendment VC82 prohibits the construction of a wind turbine within two kilometres of an existing dwelling unless there is written consent from the home’s owner.

Wind farms will also be prohibited within five kilometres of regional growth areas as specified in the Regional Victoria Settlement Framework.

Mr Jochinke said Renewable Energy Systems had not contacted any of the area’s farmers since the announcement of the amendment.

He said the area’s residents were keeping open minds on the project for now.

He said if a wind farm was proposed to be built residents within two kilometres could object.

“As far as I know they’re still testing the site,” he said. “The changes shouldn’t affect the testing.”

Renewable Energy Systems is looking to build a wind farm at Murra Warra similar in size to its $326-million wind farm at Ararat.

Planning Minister Matthew Guy said Amendment VC82 provided certainty for industry and the community.

He said it still ensured there were opportunities to establish wind farms without affecting communities and environmental assets.

“This is a long-standing Coalition policy. The government committed to giving communities a role in deciding where wind farms will go and restoring fairness and certainty to the planning processes for wind farms,” he said.

“Amendment VC82 delivers on that commitment. I have already giving planning control on wind farms back to local councils and have made available resources through the Planning Department to assist councils to make their own decisions on wind farm applications.

“It is important that while wind energy develops, it does not do so to the detriment of rural and regional Victorians.”

Source:  BY CASS DALGLEISH, The Wimmera Mail-Times, www.mailtimes.com.au 31 August 2011

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

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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