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Roads crumble after wind farm development  

Credit:  Sarah Scopelianos | March 21, 2013 | The Weekly Times | www.weeklytimesnow.com.au ~~

A rural council is considering legal action to recover $14 million to fix roads left crumbling by the Macarthur Wind Farm in Victoria.

Moyne Shire and five other councils also plan to approach the Municipal Association of Victoria to gauge support about airing concerns about wind farm development to the Victorian Government.

Moyne Mayor Jim Doukas said at last count council estimated damage to local roads related to the construction of the $1 billion 140-turbine Macarthur development to be about $14 million.

“The roads are appalling. It’s not just the shire’s roads. VicRoads are having the same problems. They’ve got millions and millions of dollars of damage,” Cr Doukas said.

He said damage had been spread across the area with trucks travelling from Mortlake, Hamilton and Childers Cove to the site.

Cr Doukas said the shire had spoken with VicRoads and had received legal advice on the issue.

The meeting early next month with the MAV is aimed at gauging the peak body’s position on wind farms regarding planning, road damage and health implications.

Cr Doukas said the MAV had been quiet on the issue, which wasn’t surprising given it involved a handful of rural shires.

The councils hope to gain MAV support to use its “avenues into the government” to discuss the issues.

Cr Doukas said talks had been held with the Planning Minister Matthew Guy last year but the council was still waiting for a response.

An AGL spokeswoman told Weekly Times Now the company had spent $10 million on local roads around the Macarthur Wind Farm and the roads were compliant with its obligations.

She said the company was being pro-active about road conditions and monitored the Macarthur-Hawkesdale Rd.

She also said the company spoke with a lot of stakeholders about the project and welcomed further contact with residents and groups.

The wind farm is in the comissioning stage and will shortly be fully operational.

VicRoads has been called for comment.

Source:  Sarah Scopelianos | March 21, 2013 | The Weekly Times | www.weeklytimesnow.com.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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