King Island’s Mayor wants the decision to proceed or not with the wind farm to rest with residents not the court system.
And Greg Barratt said he was confident the community would have the final say after the completion of Hydro’s feasibility study, rejecting any concerns the state-owned company would simply rubber stamp the project.
“I think it’s better that the community decide rather than having a court decision,” Cr Barratt said.
“I’m confident the residents will have the final say.
“Hydro, I believe they are honest.
“They have said we will have another vote, and depending on the result of that vote the project will sink or swim.”
Asked why wind farm opponents should have any confidence in the process, given Hydro fell short of its 60 per cent support target to trigger the feasibility study yet proceeded anyway, Cr Barratt said “it’s a bit of a moot point, that 60 per cent”.
“From my investigations there was never a decision made by the board of Hydro that the vote required was 60 per cent,” Cr Barratt said.
“From my understanding it was a passing comment made at a seminar.
“The position of council is we support the need for a feasibility study and, depending on the result of that, then we will probably make a public recommendation to the community.”
Cr Barratt denied suggestions the ongoing uncertainty, with the feasibility study taking up to two years, would deter investment on the island.
“I think you live with it [uncertainty],” he said.
“From my observations the wind farm issue has not stopped people from looking at King Island as a place to invest.
“It really hasn’t affected development potential.”
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