November 20, 2012

Moyne fights wind company’s single-lane road plan

By Sean McComish | The Standard | Nov. 21, 2012 |

Heavy traffic caused by trucks around wind farms is still a thorn in the side of Moyne Shire, which is pursuing two separate developers this month over road problems.

The council spent thousands of dollars to be represented at the Victorian Civil and Administration Tribunal (VCAT) last week, where it outlined its opposition to a developer’s plan to use a single-lane road for a proposed wind farm at Woolsthorpe.

Moyne fears the company’s plan to use Slattery’s Lane as a one-way road to the construction site will lead to trucks banking up on adjoining roads and create a traffic hazard.

The proponents, Wind Farm Developments, initially agreed to widen the lane at council’s request last year before the planning permit expired.

But Moyne Shire co-ordinator for energy and major projects, Russell Guest, said the company changed its mind and issued an appeal to VCAT to keep a single lane.

“We can’t see how you can run trucks down the road if you can’t get anything past it. If they back up, it’s going to be a traffic hazard,” Mr Guest said. Developers are also appealing the permit, which reduced 20 turbines to 16.

A spokeswoman for the company said it was still awaiting the outcome of the hearing, which is expected within weeks.

“Wind Farm Developments is waiting on the outcome of the VCAT hearing and will be able to provide more detail on expected timelines once a decision has been made by VCAT,” the spokeswoman said.

“The company has to abide by the stringent conditions in the planning permit and if this requires further works these will need to be completed as part of the permit requirements.”

Meanwhile, Moyne Shire is still tossing up whether to proceed with action against AGL over damaged roads around the Macarthur wind farm.

The council will this week forward documents to senior officers of Planning Minister Matthew Guy, arguing that AGL and its contractors had not fulfilled their obligations to properly repair over 19 kilometres of roads around Macarthur.

Mr Guest said while current repairs “looked reasonable”, he claimed they would not last over winter.

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