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Judge labels King Island wind farm legal challenge ‘sprawling and inarticulate’

A legal challenge against Hydro Tasmania’s King Island wind farm proposal has been described as “sprawling” and liable to create additional costs.

The No TasWind Farm group has appeared in the Federal Court in a bid to stop Hydro proceeding with its $2 billion project.

Lawyers representing the group say Hydro did not have broad community support for the wind farm and it should not proceed.

Justice Duncan Kerr described the application as massively sprawling, inarticulate and likely to result in significant costs to Hydro Tasmania, without concluding anything.

He has ordered the two parties to meet and narrow down the claim before returning to court later this month.

Hydro wants to build 200-turbines on the island, creating the largest wind farm in the Southern Hemisphere.

It said the project would not proceed to the feasibility study without the backing of most of the residents.

The survey in June found just under 59 per cent support, which Hydro described as sufficient.

The close vote prompted the opponents to launch a legal challenge to stop the project.

In a statement, Hydro says a decision on the project’s future will only be made after a feasibility study.

Several studies are underway looking at whether the TasWind project is commercially and technically feasible.

Hydro says the court challenge will not affect the timing of this phase.