New wind farms could be blocked in a Western Victorian shire if councillors vote next week to call on the state government to ban any further developments.
Moyne Shire Council – which already has enough wind farms built or in construction to produce power to supply half of Melbourne’s homes – will be asked by councillor Jim Doukas to back a motion from local residents opposing further developments.
It comes as 700 Moyne residents have signed petitions opposing current developments at Hawkesdale, Mt Fyans and Willatook and years of unrest over what local residents say has been an explosion of poorly planned and badly regulated projects.
The submission, prepared by concerned landholders including Janet Collins, seen by The Weekly Times, asks council to consider that Moyne Shire has made a significant contribution to renewable energy in Victoria with 10 wind farms built or panned for construction, as well as several further proposals.
The existing approved wind farm footprint includes 419 wind turbines with a capacity to supply 991,485 homes.
The submission also notes that there had been “no assessment of the socio-economic impact” of the approved Hawkesdale wind farm development on that township.
It warns local residents now face the prospect of being sandwiched between turbines if the Willatook project also proceeds in proximity to the Macarthur project.
If so, turbines from the two projects would only be a couple of kilometres apart, with homes in the middle.
The submission includes National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer’s report to the federal parliament in March which states such projects could led to “compounding issues for residents including noise, visual amenity, and potential economic loss”.
Mr Dyer has also called for a licensing system to prevent wind farm clusters.
Meanwhile, in mid-September a Mortlake meeting of 500 residents passed a resolution to “totally and absolutely” oppose the development of the Mt Fyans Wind Farm. It also called on council to instruct Planning Minister Richard Wynne, who controls wind farms; assessment and approvals, to reject any application to progress the project.
Moyne Shire Council will consider the new motion on Tuesday.
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