The debate over wind farms was taken up at a Mid Murray council special meeting last Tuesday night, where passionate opponents of the proposed Keyneton project packed the gallery.
The council, which was divided over the issue, met to see what could be done to either oppose the project or postpone it until a further study could be performed to understand possible effects on the community.
Four motions were put to councillors but only one was passed with the vote splitting the council 5-4 in two of the cases and 7-2 in another.
Mid Murray Council chief executive officer Russel Peate said a move to revoke the power delegated to the Mid Murray Council Development Assessment Panel (DAP) was defeated as was the motion to write to State Planning Minister John Rau to highlight the council’s concern over legislation that did not provide the council with the power to reverse DAP decisions.
The motion to oppose the Keyneton Wind Farm development on grounds of a lack of scientific peer-assessed research into the effects of wind farms with regards to noise failed in a 7-2 vote.
In the end, the council voted to ask the state Development Assessment Committee (DAC) to postpone a decision concerning the Pacific Hydro application until an independent noise study related to the project could be done, viewed and considered.
Mr Peate said the council could not have a direct say on the project but felt reasonably confident the request would be heard.
“The approval for the wind farm is subject to the state government DAC and they hear any objections or submissions and make the recommendations to the state Minister who has final say,” he said.
“We are requesting a study be done.
“Saying that, there has already been a study commissioned by the Goyder council but the results haven’t been released publicly yet.”
Mr Peate said the 55 people sitting in the public gallery on Tuesday night were all opposed to the Keyneton wind farm project.
“They were all disappointed that the motion for council to oppose the development was defeated,” he said.
“They were keen to make their views known afterwards.”
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