Still in early stages of development, the $1.3 billion Uungula Wind Farm has attracted a split response from community members.
The Uungula project held its first public open day at Goolma Hall on Wednesday and residents from around the region voiced a mix of concern and support for the wind farm.
One Yarrabin resident was glad developers Wind Prospect CWP had listened to initial consultation and removed plans for turbines in the area. However the resident was still sceptical about reasons for development and potential ongoing affects.
Another resident holding more than one property to the east of the project stated reservations about visual amenity and land devaluing.
NSW Member for Orange, Andrew Gee, attended the open day and agreed there was a mix of support and concern.
“There is still a lot of concern about noise and visual amenity,” he said.
“A general feeling by people outside the project is they don’t have any control over the process and feel disempowered.”
He said people with concerns were not simply displaying a ‘sour grapes’ response after seeing no economic benefit on their properties.
“They are not concerned about extra income. It’s more about fears for decreased land values, noise, traffic and visual amenity,” Mr Gee said.
“To dismiss their concerns is too simplistic.”
Mr Gee encouraged residents to make submissions on the NSW Draft Planning Guidelines on Wind Farms.
Wind Prospect CWP head of development, Ed Mounsey, said the entire project had been shaped by consultation.
“We want to be seen at the front of the consultation,” he said.
“Late last year we conducted an extensive door-knocking consultation which proved successful and was part of changes at Yarrabin.”
Mr Mounsey said he was disappointed Mr Gee did not speak with the proponent at the Goolma open day.
No Mid-Western councilors or council staff attended either the Crudine Ridge or Uungula open days held this week.
Mr Mounsey said if anybody wanted to contact the company, details were on the website www.uungulawindfarm.com.au
The Uungula Wind Farm is proposing about 250 turbines to be placed between Wellington, Mudgee and Gulgong. Proposed maximum turbine height is 180 metres.
From Pine Creek, Ilgingery Road, residents will able to see up to 61 turbines. Turbines will also be viewable from Yarrabin Road.