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Moyne Shire Council to harden stance against new wind farms  

Credit:  By Ben Silvester | The Standard | Updated September 5 2022 | www.standard.net.au ~~

Moyne Shire Council is on track to harden its stance against new wind farms at its September monthly meeting.

After extensive feedback from ratepayers, council officers have advised stronger wording for Moyne’s wind farm “position statement”.

“Moyne Shire Council strongly recommends the state government pause the issuing of all wind farm planning permits in the shire until strategic land use planning in the South West Renewable Energy Zone is completed in consultation with Moyne and other affected councils and communities,” the new statement said.

Moyne hosts a disproportionate number of Victoria’s wind farms, which have long been a polarising issue for locals.

The issue reached a head in 2018 when the council resolved to oppose any further wind farm developments unless a range of conditions were met by the state government.

In June 2022 the council announced its public position was no longer fit for purpose and needed to be revised.

The council released a draft statement in June to get feedback from Moyne residents via a 400-person phone survey as well as written and online submissions.

The responses strongly supported leaving the opening statement (cited above) unchanged, but favoured stronger requirements for the state government to agree to before the council changed its opposition to new wind farms.

Key minimum requirements would include five-kilometre buffers between turbines and any towns or settlements, 2km from houses, and 1km from the boundaries of any neighbouring properties. The existing guidelines only recommend a 1km buffer from towns and settlements.

The new position statement also provided far more detailed requirements for capping the number of turbines in Moyne, the disbursement of economic benefits from wind farm developers and the state government, and the way the “impact” from wind farms was assessed.

Of the 400 residents surveyed by phone, 62 per cent supported wind energy in general, but that figure dropped to 50 per cent in the eastern part of Moyne, which has the highest concentration of turbines. By contrast, 81 per cent supported solar power.

Residents were considerably more favourable towards offshore wind power compared with onshore turbines.

Only 43 per cent of surveyed residents supported continued wind farm construction, with 30 per cent opposed, but the figures were even less favourable in the east of the shire.

The council does not have the power to approve or reject wind farm permits, that power rests with the Planning Minister. Strong electrical infrastructure and a naturally windy climate make Moyne a hot spot for wind farm projects.

Councillors will vote to adopt or reject the newly worded statement at the council meeting on Tuesday.

Source:  By Ben Silvester | The Standard | Updated September 5 2022 | www.standard.net.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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