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Last chance to clear the air on Flyers Creek wind farm

A public meeting where supporters and opponents will have their final on the $195 million wind farm proposed for Flyers Creek, 20 kilometres south of Orange, has proved so popular it’s been split over two days.

The Department of Planning recommended the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) approve the 43-turbine project in November.

Due to the level of public interest in the proposal, the PAC called a meeting at the Blayney Shire Community Centre to start from 3pm on Tuesday, February 11.

But a PAC spokeswoman said so many people had registered to speak, the PAC would reconvene at 9am Wednesday to hear from all parties.

“The message for people now is we will be extending it on to Wednesday morning so if people have a preference they can let us know,” she said.

Interested parties wanting to speak at the meeting must register with the PAC by 1pm tomorrow.

Individuals are given five minutes and those from a registered group can speak for 15 minutes.

Members of the public can also attend as observers.

Patina Schneider, from a group opposing the wind farm, the Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group, said several members would speak but others were reluctant to speak out publicly and would submit written submissions instead.

She is concerned animosity between the residents supporting and those opposing the wind farm could escalate to violence if the project is approved.

“For one of the main hosts, if his property caught on fire people would stand by and watch it burn,” she said.

Mrs Schneider said hosts of the turbines had accused the group of making threats when the group sent legal letters asking the landholders to reject the turbines on their properties.

“They have been warned of the consequences, it’s not a threat,” she said. “We do have the right to stand up and protect what’s ours.”

Jonathan Upson, the senior development manager with the wind farm’s developer Infigen Energy, said as the proponent of the project no one from Infigen was able to speak at the meeting, but he would observe the proceedings.

“There is a certain level of frustration because obviously other people have their say,” he said.

Although three landholders who initially agreed to host four turbines between them now wish to pull out of the project, Mr Upson said they would be unable to back out of the contract signed with Infigen.

To speak at the meeting contact the PAC’s Rebeca Chungue on (02) 9383 2112.