More than 150 community members attended the Jupiter Wind Farm Information Day session at the Tarago hall on the Saturday 14th June. Conducted by the developer EPYC Pty Ltd, a handful of representative were there to answer questions with posters about the proposed windfarm which wants to build 110 wind towers between Tarago and Manar. The mood in the room was tense as concerned residents sought answers from the representatives and left frustrated.
The company has been widely criticised for failing to consult with the community and local councils. Business Development Manager Sherry Mohajerani was the senior representative of the company present and she said “today is the kick-off of the consultation.”
While EPYC is registered as an Australian Company, it is 85% owned by an unlisted Spanish private company. Ms Mohajerani said “EPYC was not an acronym for anything.”
The company employs only 7 people in Australia.
Questions asked regarding decommissioning, screening, setbacks and mostly about loss of land value, however many of the questions could not be answered. Ms Mohajerani said “The various locations for towers with the best potential are not known yet.”
Other windfarm developments that had been cited on the EPYC website are in fact further back in the development stage than the Jupiter development.
Locals estimate that there are around 300 lifestyle properties in the shadow of the site and around 25 landholders have signed contracts with the company.
There were several Palerang Councillors present as well as Palerang Mayor Pete Harrison and Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Geoff Kettle.
Cr Kettle told ABC 666 on Monday “To me there was a lot of clandestine stuff…I was falsely represented. They said I was at a meeting out there and that they had consulted with Goulburn Mulwaree.”
Cr Kettle said “There does not seem to be nearly enough information flowing.” He also
Denied it was nimbyism when they were proposing 110 turbines across rural lifestyle blocks.
Cr Harrison told the Times “I had a meeting with them (EPYC), with the General Manager on 26 Feb. At that meeting they were unable to provide very much concrete information, and I suggested that they could do a lot better job of consulting with, and informing the community. As best I can recall, that’s the only communication I’ve had with them. They did meet with our planning staff back in November 2013, but once again, they had very little information to provide at that point and as a result my understanding is that there was very little feedback the staff could offer.”
Cr Harrison said “I attended a community meeting in the Tarago Hall, on 9 Feb, but they weren’t at that—that was a community meeting. I’m pretty sure the drop-in session last weekend was the first time I’d seen the EPYC people since that meeting in February.”
“I still think they could do more by way of working with the community” said Cr Harrison. “They have offered to come and give a presentation to Council.”
A Community Consultative Committee is being set up and applications must be submitted by the 4th July 2014. See: www.epyc.com.au
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