Cherry Tree wind farm back to the drawing board; $100 million project in limbo after landowner pulls out
A proposed $100million wind farm for the outskirts of Seymour has had to go back to the drawing board after a landowner withdrew consent for the project.
Infigen Energy has confirmed it will resubmit an application for the Cherry Tree wind farm on the range between Whiteheads Creek and Trawool.
Development manager Laura Dunphy said the company had been in negotiations with the landowner.
‘‘We have been unable to agree on commercial terms, therefore that land will not be included in the project,’’ she told the Telegraph.
‘‘Infigen will now update and submit the new layout to the Mitchell Shire (Council).’’
The new layout was likely to include fewer turbines but the exact number and when the application would be submitted was too early to tell.
The original application was for up to 16 turbines up to 160m high. It is likely to be some months before the council will hear the revised application.
Debate over the project continued last week with the visit of Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan to Trawool, where he met many local residents.
Mr Madigan, who has taken up the battle for opponents of wind farms, told the Telegraph opposition to the project mirrored that across Victoria, NSW and South Australia and he had plenty of answered questions relating to perceived health risks.
‘‘I’ll be the first person to stand up in parliament and say I’ve got it wrong if the research is done in a transparent way (and proves it is safe),’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t care what’s happening in Europe. I want to know what’s happening here … to date we still haven’t got any independent Australian research under Australian conditions with a methodology the public can verify and understand how the research was conducted. It’s been 15 months since the Senate (inquiry) handed down its recommendations but to date there hasn’t been any movement other than the appointment of a committee to do a review.’’
‘‘Until it’s done, what’s the bloody secret? Why gag orders (on people who host turbines on their land) and the denigration of people who disagree with these things? I’m sick to death of it and I think any fair-minded person would be.
‘‘I’m always astounded by the people who say there’s nothing wrong (with wind farms), these people (objecting) have hypochondria and need to take a sugar tablet or something. Those same people don’t have one on their doorstep. They’re all interested in saving the world as long as it’s not in their backyard.’’
‘‘We often have people saying something is peer-reviewed but they’re very selective about what they say is peer reviewed. I don’t honestly see what the problem is with getting independent research and I’m just asking for a moratorium on these things until we get thorough research. The people at Trawool (and Whiteheads Creek) deserve that.’’
Mr Madigan said he was often accused of being ‘‘in the pocket of the coal industry’’.
‘‘I can say to you I’ve got shares in absolutely nothing, nor has my wife and nor have my children. I just want answers for people.’’
Ms Dunphy said there was an opportunity for the public to hear the other side of the debate when Simon Chapman speaks in Melbourne next month.
The Professor of Public Health at Sydney University will speak on health questions surrounding wind farms.
His research includes an article Wind turbine syndrome: a classic ‘‘communicated’’ disease and he has published 439 articles in peer reviewed journals and 17 books and major reports.
He is also editor emeritus of the British Medical Journal’s Tobacco Control after serving as editor and deputy editor.
Professor Chapman will speak at a Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand seminar on from 5.30pm on November 15.
The talk will be held at the EPA Victoria fourth floor conference room at 200 Victoria St, Carlton.
Anyone interested in attending should phone Vicki Callaway on 97510393 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by November 9.
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