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Trouble in air for wind farms

Moorabool mayor Pat Griffin says roads around Mount Wallace and Lal Lal could be damaged by heavy truck traffic when wind farms are built in the shire.

He said he was worried about reports from Moyne and Southern Grampians shires, where roads had crumbled under the weight of trucks carrying building materials for the 140-turbine Macarthur wind farm.

“We’re becoming incredibly concerned about the prospect of damage to our roads because other shires are talking about incredible damage caused to smaller, local roads and to larger arterial roads as well,” he said.

Cr Griffin said Moorabool was seeking the support of the Municipal Association of Victoria and was trying to arrange a meeting with Planning Minister Matthew Guy to discuss the matter.

But the developer of the wind farms slated for Moorabool, WestWind, has lashed out at council’s “continual misinformation”.

Project manager Phil Burn said the council was spreading unfounded fear across communities neighbouring the wind farms.

Under the planning permit, WestWind must have in place a traffic management plan, do ongoing maintenance and repair works, and run a program to rehabilitate roads to their pre-existing condition.

But Cr Griffin said he was concerned about enforcing compliance to the planning permit, saying the conditions were “vague” and could not be amended.

“There’s no substance and no detail, and any variations will have to come from Minister Guy, not from us” he said.