A government department meeting in Nundle on Thursday about a wind farm proposal is “unusual” but welcome, a village resident against the plan has said.
The Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) will meet with the community at Nundle Memorial Hall to discuss the planning process for the proposed Wind Energy Partners development.
A DPE spokesman said: “The community plays a key part in the assessment process and the meeting is an opportunity for locals to have their say.”
Hills of Gold Preservation Group Inc’s (HOGPI) Megan Trousdale said she was “really glad that they’ve come to town and that we have this opportunity, rather than it be delayed any further”.
“The preliminary environmental assessment has not been lodged, so it’s very unusual for the department to come to a community at this stage,” she said.
“However, [its] Wind Energy Guidelines place heavy emphasis on early consultation, so I think this signals that.”
Mrs Trousdale said she expected the meeting, like other community meetings held earlier in the year, would be well-attended, “made up of people who are for, people who are against, and people who are ambivalent or on the fence”.
Residents will be able to register on the night to speak.
“I think when a wind development comes into a community, there’s a lot of anxiety and a lot of misinformation,” Mrs Trousdale said.
“Rumours start, there’s a lot of angst about what could happen – and this is a chance to hear, from the government, facts.”
The DPE spokesman said the state government’s Wind Energy Guidelines had “detailed requirements for community consultation and consideration of issues such as visual and noise impacts”.
One of Wind Energy Partner’s next steps is to lodge an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which will then be exhibited for public comment.
The Leader also attempted to contact Wind Energy Partners’ Jamie Chivers, and three Nundle residents who have previously spoken in favour of the development.
The meeting starts at 6pm on Thursday at Nundle Memorial Hall
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