AFL chief Gillon McLachlan appears in court over bid to stop wind farm development near historic family property
The boss of the AFL has personally appeared at an Adelaide court as part of his fight against a multimillion-dollar wind farm project near his family’s historic South Australian country estate.
Gillon McLachlan, 42, has launched court action over the approval of the sprawling $700 million wind farm, adjacent to the more than century-old family sheep and cattle station near Mount Pleasant.
It comes after the Mid Murray Council authorised construction of 114 turbines, which will measure up to 165m high, along the ranges between Palmer, Tungkillo and Sanderston.
The Sunday Mail revealed how Mr McLachlan was also taking action against wind farm developers Trustpower, the Environment Protection Agency, Planning Department and Environment Minister Ian Hunter.
Mr McLachlan’s fight is one of four appeals filed against the wind farm – approved by the council’s planning arm in December – which will be situated adjacent to his family’s Rosebank property.
Rosebank, a prominent and historic station east of Mt Pleasant, was pioneered in 1843 by Scottish-born landowner George Melrose, whose descendants include the McLachlan family.
Mr McLachlan, the league’s chief executive, on Monday appeared at the Environment, Resources and Development court, which has the power to overrule the decision.
Commissioner Lolita Mohyla chaired talks behind closed doors where the parties discussed whether the case would proceed through negotiation, mediation, trial or at a hearing. It returns to court in April.
Mr McLachlan, who was accompanied by his lawyers, and the other parties declined to comment.
The deep ties to his childhood home spurred the St Peter’s College-educated administrator to issue a passionate video plea to the council’s development assessment panel during the approval debate.
“I was frankly heartbroken that this land will be forever marred by enormous man-made structures,” he said.
Mr McLachlan will on Tuesday launch the AFL’s preseason cup at Unley Oval with Adelaide Crows players Ricky Henderson and Andy Otten and Port Adelaide’s Travis Boak and Dougal Howard.
The Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges Landscape Guardians, on behalf of up to 90 local residents, have also appealed against the wind farm development and a hearing is listed this month.
Originally published as AFL boss appears in court over wind farm fight
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