Member for Orange Andrew Gee has supported the development of guidelines on wind farms in New South Wales.
Mr Gee said that while he had no issue with renewable energy, wind farms were becoming a very divisive issue in the Central West.
“One of the problems with wind farms is that they are often very close to neighbouring properties and it is the neighbours who carry a large part the burden of hosting them,” Mr Gee said.
“Noise seems to be a particular issue.”
“The way they have developed to date has been a free for all.
“There needs to be a clear and robust set of guidelines developed so that everyone knows where they stand and that we don’t have regional communities tearing themselves apart over the issue.
“At the moment we have neighbours pitted against neighbours.
“There are clearly landholders who feel that their concerns are not being heard.”
Mr Gee called on wind farm operators to engage in greater community consultation on proposed wind farms.
“Some companies are avoiding consultations with local communities because some of the views expressed at these meetings are quite frank,” he said. “But that’s democracy in Australia.
“If you want to come into these communities for the purpose of making a dollar for your shareholders, then you have to be prepared to listen to what the locals think.”
The NSW Government is in the process of drafting new wind farm guidelines which are being overseen by the Department of Planning.
“I am hopeful that these guidelines will be finalised in the near future,” Mr Gee said.
Windfarm projects are on the drawing board for several parts of the Central West including Crudine south of Pyramul, Bodangora, Uungula midway between Wellington, Gulgong and Mudgee, and Flyers Creek.
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