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Hopes AGL meeting will provide certainty about future of Silverton wind farm project

A resident of Silverton in far west New South Wales is hoping a community meeting this month will give definitive answers about the future of a planned wind farm in the area.

Electricity provider AGL has invited residents to a consultative meeting on February 25 which will include an update on the project’s status.

Plans for the wind farm along the Barrier Range at Silverton, north-west of Broken Hill, had been stalled because of uncertainty around the federal renewable energy target, which has now been resolved.

The wind farm was proposed in 2007 and approved in 2009, but there has been no movement on the project for more than a year, with approval set to expire in May.

Silverton Village Committee chair Albert Woodroffe expected this month’s meeting would end the uncertainty.

“I wouldn’t call it a win or lose thing,” he said. “It’s just we have to find out which way they’re going to go.

“They have something up their sleeves, and they’re going to make an announcement.

“It’s really going to affect the way people out here live, should the thing go ahead.”

The Department of Planning said in a statement AGL had not applied to make any changes.

“Currently, there is no modification application to extend operations at Silverton Wind Farm before the department,” a spokeswoman said.

“Any modification application to extend the approval lapse date would be considered on its merits and consider any concerns of the local community.”

AGL confirmed the public meeting but did not provide further detail.

An agenda for the event includes a discussion about a “project extension”.

Mr Woodroffe said he was keen to know whether the wind farm would have an impact on run-off into water storages.

“Once they start cutting up the range out here [the] run-off into Umberumberka and Stephens Creek reservoirs is going to be quite significant,” he said.

“We’ve got water issues and storage problems at the moment, and I think that development will just exacerbate them.”