A Tasmanian town recently voted the state’s top tourism spot is uniting against a wind farm proposal residents say will be a scar on its famous landscape and damage its appeal.
Epuron is preparing a development application for a 12tower wind farm to be built on farmland near historic Highfield House.
Epuron says on its website that assessment work for the proposed Western Plains Wind Farm – located at the tip of the Stanley Peninsula – had been completed and it would submit the final development proposal and environmental management plan to Circular Head Council and the Environment Protection Authority Tasmania in the next few months.
Tasmania’s far North-West has attracted the attention of many wind farm developers.
There is a farm at Woolnorth, one at Studland Bay, another at Granville Harbour and a controversial proposal to build a mega renewable energy park on Robbins Island and nearby Jims Plains.
Once operational, the 12 turbines proposed for Stanley would contribute 50.4 megawatts of energy to Tasmania’s grid.
The owner of The Ship Inn, Kerry Houston, said Stanley’s bid for Top Tourist Town centred on its history, the iconic Nut and vistas.
“The National Wind Farm Commissioner recommends that wind farms not be built within 5km of a township but this project is less than 4km from our charming historical village,” Ms Houston said. “Local vets, nurses, farmers, lawyers and tourism operators are fighting to save Stanley from an industrialisation that would change this iconic Tasmanian landmark forever.
“The famous Nut is 143m high and they are proposing to overshadow it with 12 150mhigh turbines. Locals aren’t against renewable energy or hiding away from industry, and believe industry can work in harmony with tourism.
“But imagine the outcry if they wanted to place 12 turbines on the Neck at Bruny?
“The renewables title can’t be a free pass to pillage Tasmania’s iconic sites. It comes with responsibility to place and to community.”
Stanley attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year and those against the wind farm proposal say it poses a risk to that tourism. There is also concern about how much noise the turbines will generate.
“Many locals believe the Stanley Peninsula should have a scenic protection overlay and will hold a town meeting in July to discuss the Epuron proposal and will invite local councillors, politicians and the developer to hear their concerns,” Ms Houston said.
The company will hold a community drop-in session in Stanley on June 22.
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