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Getting the message on Jupiter wind farm

On Friday, March 16, in a shock move, EPYC withdrew the Jupiter Wind Farm proposal, citing the NSW Department of Planning’s assessment and that the Independent Planning Commission would agree.

The community which has been opposing the wind farm, are surprised by EPYC’s decision, but very relieved.

The Jupiter wind farm is now dead and gone. It was the first wind farm in final project form the Department of Planning recommended should be rejected.

Now, EPYC in its letter to the Government withdrawing the application, says it does not believe in the independence of the Independent Planning Commission, instead believing the IPC would simply follow the Department’s line.

It is noteworthy that the IPC ‘rejects the assertion its assessment and determination of the application would not have been made fairly and independently of the Department’.

Residents Against Jupiter wind turbines (RAJwt) who’ve been formally fighting the proposal for four-plus years, are both elated at the withdrawal and unsurprised at the developer’s comments.

For many years, the Department of Planning has been advising the developer to improve its community consultation processes and be aware of the large number of residents who would be impacted by the proposed wind farm.

EPYC seemed oblivious of the suggestions, instead, at Community Consultative Committee meetings, preferring to stonewall community reps critical of the development. At no time did the company officers appear to try to listen to the community.

What took them so long? The Department’s Assessment made it clear that the site selected was not suitable for a wind farm. There would be an unacceptably high impact on too many residents living near the wind farm.

The Jupiter Wind Farm straddles both the Goulburn Mulwaree and the QPRC local council areas. Both councils rejected the proposal, citing the unacceptably high impact on residents. The Australian Wind Alliance opposed it. The affected community opposed it. A record number of submissions were received opposing the wind farm. The community understands that there is always a cost with development, but they also understand the meaning of unacceptable.

There was a certain myopia about the principals of the company; they did not seem able to build alliances nor take advice. This is well illustrated by the company’s final letter of acquiescence to the IPC.

In the meantime, who will remove the three wind monitoring masts installed by EPYC, located in Manar, Mt Fairy and opposite Roseview? Will EPYC passively leave these things as a reminder to the community that they had the last laugh? Or will they surprise us with hitherto unseen integrity and decommission the masts?

Congratulations to our community, so many of whom have fought long and hard, with great unity, to stop the attack on us.
Jane Keany, Mount Fairy