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Stockland puts wind up councillors  

Credit:  BY CHRIS PAVER, Illawarra Mercury, www.illawarramercury.com.au 15 February 2012 ~~

Shellharbour’s Liberal councillors have been left flapping in the breeze just one week after making a public stand against wind farms in the city.

It has emerged the $330 million Stockland shopping centre redevelopment, taking place outside the Shellharbour council chambers in the city centre, will include three wind turbines on the roof.

Mayor Kellie Marsh and colleague Paul Rankin both said they were not aware of the approved plans at the massive development when they introduced their controversial notice of motion at last week’s council meeting.

The three turbines would be installed this year “as part of the redevelopment works as per DA conditions”, Stockland confirmed yesterday.

“The 12kW vertical axis wind turbines are approximately 11.5m in height and complement the environmentally sustainable design of the completed shopping centre,” a spokeswoman said.

One of the 162 conditions of consent former Shellharbour administrator David Jesson imposed on the development in 2009 was for it to receive a four-star Green Star rating.

Last week, Councillor Marsh used her casting vote to pass a motion for the council to oppose any wind farms in the city and to make its views known to the State Government.

She and Cr Rankin raised concerns, including the possible impact of wind turbines on residents’ health and the visual amenity of Shellharbour.

“Most definitely [Stockland’s plan is] an inconsistency, but again, if I had known that they were putting in wind turbines then things probably would have been different,” Cr Rankin said.

“We probably would have been able to sit down with Stockland and work out exactly what was going on.”

Cr Marsh said she had been told the Stockland proposal was not a commercial wind farm and, due to its location in the shopping complex, would not affect the aesthetics of the area.

She also said it was not uncommon for policies to change, and pointed out the Stockland proposal was approved before the new council was appointed.

“To be honest with you, I think it’s totally irrelevant because … that happened prior to us coming in to council,” she said. She has sought a full briefing on the matter from council staff.

Labor Deputy Mayor Marianne Saliba, who voted against the motion, said she was considering submitting a rescission motion to reverse the council’s position.

Source:  BY CHRIS PAVER, Illawarra Mercury, www.illawarramercury.com.au 15 February 2012

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

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