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Silverton Wind Farm not affected by NSW Govt changes to planning assessments

The New South Wales Government says its changes to wind farm development applications won’t affect the planned project at Silverton in the state’s far-west.

Planning Minister Pru Goward has announced an independent panel will assess wind farm proposals in order to make the application process more transparent.

The Department of Planning and Environment will take responsibility for setting up Community Consultative Committees instead of the project’s proponents.

But Minister Goward says the changes will not affect the Silverton wind farm which was first approved five years ago.

“As I understand it the Silverton project was approved in May 2009 and it has a Consultative Committee operating that’s been operating since 2012,” she said.

“The changes announced today won’t affect Silverton because Silverton’s already been approved, so this is for any proposal that has not yet been approved.”

Silverton Wind Farm Community Consultative Committee member, Helen Murray, says she is doubtful the changes would have toughened the approval process if they applied to Silverton.

“It’s probably a step in the right direction,” she said.

“Even if Silverton was still open to this happening I don’t really think it would’ve helped us anyway and I would worry for other small communities facing wind farm developments in their area.

“I think this whole process that Silverton’s going through, the whole development application, quite frankly I think it should be reviewed, because I think it’s seriously flawed in a lot of ways and I think we deserve a review on it.”