Wattle Range Council is furious after the State Government excluded the South East from a list of areas too scenic for wind farm developments.
Attorney General John Rau has declared wind farms “are not explicitly envisaged in valuable environmental and scenic areas” such as the Barossa, Clare and Mclaren Vale, the coast and state coastal waters, Fleurieu Peninsula, Flinders Ranges and River Murray corridor.
His exclusion of the South East as a “valuable environmental and scenic area” was made in a recent letter to council to advise that he had approved the Statewide Wind Farms Development Plan Amendment (DPA).
Cr Dale Price shook his head in disbelief, arguing there were valuable scenic attributes in the South East.
“My fear is our landscape could end up looking like a Texas oil field full of wind turbines,” Mayor Peter Gandolfi said in response to the letter.
“For the State Government to single out, in their view, the Barossa, Clare and McLaren Vale, the Fleurieu, Flinders and Murray River, and not believe there is one area of our coastline or interior of visual importance, I think they have got their heads in the sand,” he said.
“Basically they want us to become the wind farm turbine centre of South Australia.
“The Flinders Ranges is very capable of generating enough wind for wind farms and is near a grid and would be a logical place to put turbines.
“The Fleurieu Peninsula would be a fantastic location to put wind turbines and I’m sure there is some wind running through McLaren Vale as well where they could put wind turbines.
“Of course Mount Lofty would be the most logical place for windfarms and turbines, very close to those using the most electricity in our state.”
Cr Price called for council to write to Mr Rau and ask why no area south of the Murray River was considered “scenic or valuable enough to be included in exclusion zones where wind farms are to be erected”.
The wind farm development issue is yet another major State Government decision which has infuriated council.
In recent months council has condemned the $670m forestry sale for the State Government’s alleged spending splurge in Adelaide, the Glencoe Nursery secretly being swept up in the deal, its proposal to spend $130m siphoning South East water for the Coorong and enforcing a levy for bridges on South East landholders.
Additionally, Penola tourism stalwart James Yates recently revealed the State Government’s $23.2m expenditure on Kangaroo Island, while giving only $10,000 to the now defunct Limestone Coast Toiirism for marketing.
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