Moorabool residents whose homes will soon be surrounded by wind turbines have blamed the council for “hanging them out to dry”.
Mount Wallace resident Michelle Evans said the 121 turbines slated for the Moorabool and Yaloak South wind farms needed to be cut back and built farther away from people’s homes.
She said councillors had not lobbied hard enough on their behalf and council support was their “only hope”.
At a recent meeting, the council voted to amend its wind turbine planning policy in line with the new state government rules restricting new turbines within five kilometres of towns and two kilometres from residences without landowners’ approval.
Ms Evans said although the council had pushed for the new restrictions, the changes would not apply to the two wind farms as planning had already been approved.
“They haven’t fought very hard and I don’t have confidence in the council – this area is full of lifestyle properties, not just farmland, and these turbines will affect a lot of people,” she said.
“Focus needs to be on the council at the moment because they’re the only hope we’ve got. We’re on our own and don’t have the power or the voice that state politicians are going to listen to.”
Mayor Pat Griffin said he was disappointed the new regulations were not retrospective.
“I don’t understand why they shouldn’t be mandatory for everyone, even the turbines that have been approved but not built,” he said.
“Last week, I had a call from a very distressed resident in the northern part of the shire who lives near the Hepburn wind farm, more than 500 metres from a turbine, and the noise was unbearable. I told them to stick cotton wool in their ears, but there’s just nothing else we can do at the present time.”
Cr Griffin said the council was trying to find loopholes in the Planning and Environment Act to help worried residents.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding