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‘It seems they want to make Tassie one big wind farm’ zone residents say 

Credit:  By Helen Kempton - Updated June 17 2024 - theadvocate.com.au ~~

Concerned residents who have learned their homes fall inside Tasmania’s first Renewable Energy Zone fear wind turbines and transmission lines will soon impact their quality of life and property values.

The zone earmarked by the government takes in a swathe of prime agricultural land across four municipal areas – Burnie, Central Coast, Kentish and Waratah-Wynyard.

In May, the government said it would soon finalise the boundary lines of the 115,000 hectare zone which is home to tens of thousands of people.

When the government’s plans to establish a REZ in the North-West were first announced in 2022, then Energy Minister Guy Barnett said it would provide new power generation to coincide with the commissioning of the first Marinus cable across Bass Strait.

Mr Barnett said it would also deliver the power needed to develop an export-scale hydrogen sector and other future industries.

Some residents within the zone are already saying they will pack up and move if wind farm projects are proposed in the area.

Others, like South Riana’s Tracie Davies fear the property she has worked so hard to make her home will be worth nothing if the wind farm companies move in.

“We found out last week via a letter that we are within the zone. Now we are angry and terrified,” she said.

“We have not been consulted at all. Then we found out there is plan to rezone the beautiful agricultural land in the zone to industrial.

“The companies looking to move in are largely foreign and the power generated will be sent away from Tasmania via the Bass Strait undersea cable.

“It seems the government wants to turn Tasmania into a one big wind farm.”

A public meeting is being held at the University of Tasmania campus in Burnie on Wednesday from 4-6pm.

It follows a community meeting at Ridgley where many concerned residents came out to express their fears and desire for more information.

Shadow Energy Minister Janie Finlay recently said the REZ proposal was “really frightening the locals in terms of what it might mean for them.”

Energy and Renewables Minister Nick Duigan says the consultation underway was just the latest part of what has been openly discussed and debated for years.

However, residents say the zone proposal was dumped on them with very little warning.

Mr Duigan this week reassured residents within the zone that any developments in a REZ still required relevant approvals before it went ahead.

“A REZ does not override land owner consent, planning, environmental or other approvals,” he said.

Residents say the massive structures will loom over the whole area and impact surrounding properties not just those on which turbines are built.

Mr Duigan said the zone had strong renewable resources and that energy developments would have “minimal overlap with existing land uses, important flora and fauna and cultural and Aboriginal heritage.”

“Importantly, it allows a Tasmanian-specific framework for cost-sharing for infrastructure, rather than the national model, ensuring Tasmanians and Tasmanian proponents are better off,” he said.

“The REZ model enables local communities to directly share in the benefits from any developments in their region. How these benefits flow is subject to community feedback and what the community wants and needs.”

Source:  By Helen Kempton - Updated June 17 2024 - 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 educational 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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