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Opposition to the Western Plains wind farm grows in Stanley  

Credit:  Storm brews over wind farm development | Molly Appleton | The Advocate | June 12 2021 | www.theadvocate.com.au ~~

A storm of opposition is brewing against a proposed Western Plains wind farm, with more than 100 people gathering on a nearby beach to show their concern.

Wind farm developer Epuron has proposed up to 12 wind turbines for a property north-west of Stanley.

Residents said they were concerned the renewable energy project would be a risk to tourism, create noise and was too close to town.

Ship Inn Stanley owner Kerry Houston said the risk was "too great" to the town considered the "jewel in the North-West's crown".

"We get over 100,000 visitors a year who come and stay in Stanley, and then they go out and disperse into the wider North-West area," Mrs Houston said.

"If we lose that, we're going to lose it for the whole of the North-West.

"Just because it's renewable doesn't mean you can put it on this iconic Tasmanian destinations. You wouldn't put it on the neck at Bruny (Island) or the Cataract Gorge, and this is the North-West's jewel in the crown."

Stanley resident Jonathan Smith said the detriments of the wind farm project had to be talked about, and that these were not as measurable as Epuron say the benefits are.

"The biggest detriment, it's unmeasurable because they can't place a value on it. And the detriment is to the landscape, to the historic value of the town," Mr Smith said.

Stanley resident Kristen Smith said if built, Stanley would be the closest town in Tasmania to a wind farm.

"So a lot of residents, they're not going to be able to sleep at night. We are worried about our property values going down, because if you can't sleep somewhere, why live there?" Mrs Smith said.

"We don't want to feel dwarfed by these massive industrial things.

"If somebody said 'let's build 12 skyscrapers out there', they'd be absolutely howls of derision. I just can't see how this is any different just because it's badged as renewables."

Mr Smith said the show of community support on Friday in opposition of the development had been on short notice.

"These are people with strong relationships to landowners, yet they have gone 'no, this is too important'.

"That's a really powerful thing for them to do and a difficult thing for them to do really."

Stanley resident Melinda Dwyer said the risks to wellbeing "as a community are phenomenal and they cannot be offset".

Epuron project manager Sandra Weinhold said under the Environmental Impact Statement, the project was required to have a landscape and visual impact assessment, in addition to a technical noise assessment.

"The project is at least 4 kilometres from the majority of Stanley and the topography will obstruct visibility of the wind farm from most of the town," Ms Weinhold said.

She said three residences were within three kilometres, but the majority were more than four kilometres from the turbines.

Ms Weinhold said an information session at Stanley Town Hall on June 22 would provide further detail into the project, including photomontages and predicted noise modelling.

Source:  Storm brews over wind farm development | Molly Appleton | The Advocate | June 12 2021 | www.theadvocate.com.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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