Hydro Tasmania’s decision to proceed to the feasibility stage of the TasWind project has seen mixed reactions on King Island.
The results from the community survey were announced this morning and found that 58.77% of King Island residents were in favour of a feasibility study into the TasWind project but 41.23% were opposed.
No TasWind Farm Group chairman Jim Benn said King Islanders could never trust the state owned company again.
“Hydro Tasmania’s representatives on King Island have repeatedly told residents a feasibility study would only occur if at least 60 per cent of residents surveyed agreed,” Mr Benn said.
“Today’s decision by Hydro Tasmania will only create further division in an already divided community.
“Near enough is not good enough; 60 is 60 not 58.77.”
Hydro Tasmania spokesperson Samantha Meyer said the figure of 60 per cent as a road block is not something that has come from Hydro Tasmania.
“We have certainly said that around 60 per cent would be a fair indicator of broad support, but have not said that the project wouldn’t proceed if the survey returned a result of less than 60 per cent,” Ms Meyer said.
Friends of the Earth and Yes 2 Renewables spokesperson Leigh Ewbank said the green light for the feasibility study was excellent news for the King Island people and their economy.
“The King Island community’s decision will put the island on the radar for new economy firms such as Google, Facebook and Apple, who are seeking renewable energy of the scale proposed by TasWind to power data centres,” Mr Ewbank said.
“King Island has the opportunity to become a truly clean, high-tech economy, mixing it’s renowned dairy and meat industry of today with clean renewable and web-based economy of the 21st Century.”
Mr Ewbnk said the King Island situation also showed that political leadership was needed to avoided miscommunication from anti wind campaigners during community consolation processes.
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