Moyne Shire will seek an urgent meeting with the state government planning minister after supporting the Mortlake community’s stance against more wind farms.
At its meeting on Tuesday night councillors voted to back the Mortlake community’s resolution which asked them to instruct planning minister Richard Wynne to reject any application for the Mount Fyans wind farm.
A council report says community concern has escalated rapidly in recent months over existing and proposed wind farms within the shire.
“While the approval of wind farms go through a rigorous statutory planning permit process administered by the Minister for Planning, communities are questioning the strategic approach to wind farms in terms of social, economic and environmental impacts,” it says.
“In recent months, large public meetings held in Hawkesdale and Mortlake about windfarms have clearly signalled that those local communities are not in favour of more windfarms in their area.”
The council noted it did not approve windfarms – assessment and approval was by the planning minister.
Last week almost 500 people attended a meeting at the Mortlake Hall and supported a motion to reject the Moyne Shires’ offer to establish a community engagement committee for the proposed renewable energy source.
“Furthermore, this meeting is totally and absolutely opposed to the development of the Mount Fyans wind farm and directs the Moyne shire councillors and officers to instruct the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne to reject any application by the proponent Woolnorth for the development of the Mount Fyans wind farm at Mortlake,” the motion read.
Feelings were high at that meeting with the danger to the endangered brolgas and impact of the 200-metre tall turbines on firefighting capabilities highlighted as issues.
Councillor Daniel Meade said the motion was amended to support the Mortlake community’s resolution.
“We changed it a little bit,” he said.
“We fully support the Mortlake motion.
“They said they don’t want the Mount Fyans wind farm.
“It doesn’t have any community support.”
Cr Meade said the council also wanted to meet with the opposition to get their policy on wind farms.
The amended motion passed 6-0.
Jill Parker did not vote, citing a conflict of interest.
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