Some Bombala business owners fear the delivery of components for Boco Wind Farm’s 67 wind turbines in March and April could severely disrupt their trade.
The delivery of the giant turbines to the Nimmitabel site will involve over-size and over-mass vehicles travelling through the town with minor road works required to allow for their safe and efficient movement.
Components will be shipped to the Port of Eden and delivered along Edrom Road, the Princes Highway, Imlay Road, the Monaro Highway and Springfield Road.
Dena Draeopouslos, the owner of the Bombala Cosmo Cafe, said she has heard very little about the closures that are set to take place and is concerned about the impact it will have on her business.
“My concern is how much disruption is this going to cause and what sort of impact is this going to have on our town,” Mrs Draeopouslos said.
“This is my livelihood that they are affecting.
Mrs Draeopouslos has owned her cafe in the main street of Bombala for more than 20 years and is disturbed by the lack of consultation with small businesses.
“Does it have to be done down the main street?” she asked. “Aren’t there any alternative routes?”
“When the Cann River Road is closed you can feel it in Bombala, we are going to feel this.
“Are the days that they move these turbines going to be the same day as the tour buses are scheduled to come into town, if so, that’s going to disrupt our business.
“I understand they are creating their livelihood by putting the wind farm in but we need our business to keep operating too.
“Are we going to be compensated?”
Mrs Draeopouslos claimed that when she contacted council to find out what was happening they could not give her answers.
“I find it hard to believe that such a big thing like this council does not know what is going to happen,” Mrs Draeopouslos said.
“Council should not lie to the people, they really need to talk to us about this.”
Boco Rock Wind Farm manager, Adrian Oakey, said they are working closely with Bombala Shire Council to ensure minimal disruption to local residents and to the roads conditions.
“We are conscious of the potential disruptions to Bombala residents, and are determined to keep
residents informed of construction progress to make sure the Bombala region benefits from the project,” Mr Oakey said.
Boco Rock Wind Farm is not planning to compensate businesses directly – the company believes that businesses in Bombala will benefit indirectly from the transport of the turbines with employees staying in the town and local people being employed to drive escort cars.
Construction of the Boco Rock Wind Farm began in August and last week the foundations for the first four turbines were completed.
The wind farm is expecting the delivery of the first tower sections to happen in late March with further components being delivered over the following months.
Delivery of the equipment will be undertaken by Rex J Andrews Pty Ltd which has been consulting with Bombala Shire Council and other government bodies for more than a year.
Rex J Andrews Transport Manager Warwick Andrews conceded it was going to be a slow process.
“With a delivery this size we are expecting it to take some time,” Mr Andrews said.
“We have spent more than a year planning with different bodies including RMS, NSW Transport, NSW Police and council.
“Once we start, residents can expect some of the roads to be affected with movements restricted to day time only in regional NSW.”
Mr Andrews said that while plans for the delivery are yet to be finalised he expects the large blades to make their way through Bombala between 10.30am and lunchtime on the days they move with the street closed during this process.
“We are expecting this to happen around mid-morning and lunch time everyday and it should take around 10 to 15 minutes to move down the street, it should be quiet a sight for locals,” Mr Andrews said.
“Our understanding is council will be making upgrades to the street including roundabout, signage, pedestrian access and kerbing to allow the signs to make their way through the main street safely.
“Our trucks are expected to have minimal impact on the roads, they are no different from a logging truck travelling down the road.
“The spread they have on their tyres has less impact on the road than a garbage truck and they are actually lighter per axel than a standard truck.”
Mr Andrews said that while the drivers employed to operate the heavy vehicles are specially trained the company will be seeking escort drivers from the local area.
“We will be advertising for escort drivers to assist with the delivery shortly and the other employees will travel from Sydney,” Mr Andrews said.
“We have around 10 full time staff that will all be staying in Bombala during the delivery time.
“I’m sure those guys will be heading to the pub and other shops in the area during that time.
“We are expecting this to take from 22 to 25 weeks in total depending on weather of course because we won’t be able to move if there are high winds or ice on the roads.”
Once stage one of the wind farm is complete the 67 turbines are expected to generate 113 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power enough to power approximately 50,000 households.
Boco Rock Wind Farm advises have a Community Consultative Committee that next meet on February 12 businesses owners are welcome to contact or contact the company directly on 1300 855 985.
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