December 3, 2021

Moyne Shire Council opposes amendments to Ryan Corner and Hawkesdale wind farms

Ben Silvester | The Standard | December 3, 2021 |

Moyne Shire councillors voted unanimously to object to proposed planning permit amendments for the Ryan Corner and Hawkesdale wind farm projects.

The permit holder, GPG, applied to the Victorian Planning Minister to amend the permits for both wind farms in early September.

At the Ryan Corner site the main changes GPG requested were the removal of four wind turbines, bringing the total number to 52, increasing the amount of native vegetation to be removed, and adding aviation lighting to 22 of the outermost turbines.

Council agreed with the removal of the four turbines, but objected to the request to remove an additional 4.3 acres of native vegetation.

The Hawkesdale wind farm amendments were more contentious, with GPG again proposing the removal of wind turbines, reducing the total by three for a total of 23.

The council noted that the wind turbines chosen for removal were the smallest turbines on the project.

It was also noted that they were not the turbines closest to the town of Hawkesdale.

The proximity of the wind turbines to the Hawkesdale township has been a source of ongoing concern for residents.

The council submission said it was "extremely disappointed" in the choice of wind turbines to be removed.

"Any turbines removed should be those closest to the township of Hawkesdale and any condition or amendment should reflect this request," the submission read.

Councillor Damian Gleeson said it was vital the council continued to advocate for the removal of those turbines.

Council is just a stakeholder in the approval process; only the planning minister has the ability to grant or revoke planning permits.

Even if the amendment applications from GPG are denied, that will not affect the two projects going ahead.

A group of Hawkesdale residents has been in ongoing court action against the wind farm.

They are waiting to see whether the High Court will hear the case.

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