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Group launches Federal Court bid to try and halt construction of a 200-plus turbine wind farm on King Island  

Credit:  HELEN KEMPTON | Mercury | September 12, 2013 | www.dailytelegraph.com.au ~~

A group against the construction of a 200-plus turbine wind farm on King Island has gone to the Federal Court in a bid to stop work proceeding.

No Tas Wind Farm Group told the court Hydro Tasmania did not have a social licence to proceed with the project.

The group lodged a writ in the court on Wednesday afternoon.

It wants the court to grant an injunction to stop Hydro Tasmania continuing with its feasibility study into the $2 billion project and for the electricity generator to be banned from claiming it had community support for it.

Hydro Tasmania’s lawyers have seven to 10 days to respond.

At the base of the legal action is Hydro Tasmania’s earlier promise to only proceed with a feasibility study into the massive wind project if at least 60 per cent of the island’s adult population voted in support.

Just under 59 per cent of people indicated support during a public vote conducted in May.

The company’s board decided that that level of support was close enough to proceed.

More than 400 people who were eligible to have their say did not bother to vote.

The wind farm proposal has caused great division on the island which suffered a major economic blow in 2012 when one of its major employees shut down its Currie meatworks and locked the gates.

In the wake of the public vote, King Island Mayor Greg Barratt urged the community to calm down and wait for extra information about the project, and what it would mean for the small Bass Strait community, to be collected.

Hydro Tasmania started the feasibility study in July and expects it will take two years to finish.

The $2 billion wind project would still need outside investment even if the study gives Hydro Tasmania confidence to push ahead with what would be the biggest wind farm in the southern hemisphere.

Hydro Tasmania said it did not want to comment about the legal action being taken until it had gone before the court.

Source:  HELEN KEMPTON | Mercury | September 12, 2013 | www.dailytelegraph.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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