Public submissions on the South Australian Government’s proposed changes to wind farm planning are expected to be summarised in a report to the Minister, John Rau, next month.
More than 250 submissions will be considered in the report by the Development Policy Advisory Committee.
The submissions are in response to an interim development plan amendment introduced last October.
The chairman of the Northern Areas Council, Ben Browne, says after meetings with the Government this week, he is optimistic it will listen to the community’s concerns.
“We’re not actually against wind farms, we just want them in the right place,” he said.
Mr Browne says the balance between industry and communities around wind farm planning needs to be restored.
“Therefore you get the wind generation in the best place economically, not just the easiest place for operators to put a wind farm and make a quick buck,” he said.
The Government’s proposed reforms include removing the right of appeal from third parties not directly involved and imposing a one-kilometre buffer between wind turbines and isolated dwellings.
The Local Government Association (LGA) of South Australia wants the Government to bring in stronger planning and regulatory measures for the state’s wind farms.
The LGA voted on the push at its recent annual general meeting.
Chris Russell from the LGA says it will be pushing for area-specific planning rules.
“That would actually make them relevant to those particular communities,” he said.
The association also plans to make a submission to the parliamentary committee investigating wind farms.
Mr Rau has until mid-October to make a decision on the interim plan.
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