November 27, 2012

Public forums planned on $200 million Mortlake wind farm

By SEAN McCOMISH | Nov. 27, 2012 | The Standard |

Public forums on the proposed $200 million Mortlake South Wind Farm are being held across the district this week.

Representatives from developer Acciona fielded questions yesterday in Noorat and Mortlake from farmers, businesses and other community members about the mammoth project.

But only a few people were present at the recreation centre in Noorat yesterday to hear about the plan, while year 8 Mercy Regional College students listened in.

A similar meeting will be held at the civic centre in Terang at 10am today. The 57-turbine wind farm needs just one more formal tick of approval from the department of planning to proceed.

Meanwhile, the project is likely to be the topic of discussion when Moyne Shire Council meets tonight. The council wants Acciona to supply the department of planning with raw wind speed data and background noise data collected at the site in a bid to shore up community faith in the project.

But in a written response to council, Acciona community relations manager David Clake said the company would only supply the information if requested by Planning Minister Matthew Guy.

Mr Clarke told The Standard yesterday that the company had lodged noise assessments with the department.

Moyne Shire energy and major projects officer Russell Guest said a community engagement committee wanted the raw wind data, collected over years, to be independently reviewed.

“It’s a matter of whether the community has sufficient faith in the system and the best way we can see of having that faith is by having an open and transparent system,” Mr Guest said.

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