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Some wind farms can dodge setback rule

Re Katherine Smyrk’s letter (May 24), I agree with her entirely when she laments the lack of community consultation regarding Mantle Mining Company’s exploration.

This seems to be the acceptable way in which governments of both persuasions manage to get their projects approved. When West Wind Energy’s Moorabool Wind Farm was planned, community consultation was carried out, a planning panel was conducted then the recommendations of the panel were promptly ignored as the project had to be approved, no matter what the cost to those unfortunate enough to live adjacent to 150m-high turbines, well within 2km of their homes.

Ms Smyrk questions how a wind turbine placement can be refused if it is within 2km of a house.

The following information was taken from the Department of Primary Industries website Wind Projects, last updated August 24, 2011.

In Victoria, there are already nine wind farms operating with a total of 300 turbines.

In theory a total of 494.70mW should be generated.

There are a further 27 approved developments with a total of 1235 wind generators which, also in theory, will produce 3088.20mW.

None of these developments are subject to the VC82 amendment which requires a 2km setback from people’s homes unless they give written permission to the proponents.

It is obvious that Victoria already has a large number of wind farms that are legally able to go ahead under their existing approved permits. Feasibility studies are also listed for a further 13 wind farms.

The claim that adjacent landowners can stop a project from going ahead is false and misleading. This ruling will only apply to new projects.

Angela Kearns

Ballan