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Golspie wind farm: 100 turbines on 22 properties

The proposed Golspie wind farm will comprise 100 turbines located on 22 properties in the Golspie – Fullerton area.

And the turbines will have a maximum blade tip height of 160 metres.

This information was given to Upper Lachlan Councillors at the meeting at Crookwell on Thursday by Mr. Daniel MacDonald, Development Manager for Wind Prospect CWP.

Mr. MacDonald also indicated that the probable transmission line connecting the wind farm to the grid will run north-east to Paling Yards rather than south to the Woodhouselee location of the proposed Crookwell 11 wind farm.

Councillors pressed Mr. MacDonald on two major local issues: recognition of Council’s Development Control Plan for wind farms and community enhancement funding by the developer

Mayor Cr. John Shaw welcomed Mr. MacDonald’s statement that his company wanted to be “open and honest” with Council and would be looking for feedback from Council and the community.

Mr. McDonald also declared that CWP would consider Council’s Local Environment Plan and DCP in its environmental assessment, and give the DCP as much consideration as possible – but pointed out that approval would be at State level.

Cr. Shaw responded that “honesty” was something that had been lacking from previous developers.

“We believe our DCP should be taken into account, and we hope that you will look at that, and the community enhancement funding.”

Cr. Shaw said Upper Lachlan would be looking for the same contribution Wind Prospect CWP had agreed to in the recently approved Boco Rock wind farm in Monaro Shire – $2,500 per turbine.

Cr. James Wheelwright commented that Mr. MacDonald’s presentation timing had been “impeccably bad” in view of a finding that 16 of his company’s turbines had been turned off at the Hallet 2 wind farm in South Australia because of non-compliance with noise guidelines.

Cr. Brian McCormack said the likelihood of the power line going to Paling Yards would be a relief for many people in the Shire, as it avoided a 50-kilometre connection to the Woodhouselee area.

Cr, Malcolm Barlow, however, was not impressed by the promise to consider the Council’s DCP.

“Others have said the same, and then ignored it,” he said.

“Our DCP has been well researched and accepted by the community.”

The DCP requires that there be a 2-kilometre “set back” between turbines and non-host residences, which Cr. Barlow said should be recognised by the developer “if you’re fair dinkum.”

Mr. MacDonald responded that it was hard to put a benchmark to this, and the company would consult with people in the area.

There were, he added many large properties in the Golspie area.

Cr. Shaw: “It is paramount that community enhancement funds should be lodged with Council.”

Cr. Barlow also expressed concern with the length of time which had elapsed from time of approval to actual construction in previously approved wind farms in the area.

“It has put people in these areas in limbo because of lack of activity by developers,” he said.

In response to the mention of a petition that showed a majority of people in the area opposed to the wind farm, Mr. MacDonald said he had found many residents strongly in favour.

Mr. Humphrey Price-Jones, from the gallery, asked why CWP had selected a site that could not comply with Upper Lachlan DCP.

Mr. MacDonald replied that this was done before the DCP was formulated.

However, Cr. Shaw pointed out that this was not so, as the DCP had been put in place in 2006 – although it had been revised since then.