Thursday, February 22, 2024

Moyne council blows back against wind farm proposal

Moyne Shire Council has announced it will make a submission to the Victorian Minister for Planning to object to the consideration of a planning permit to build a local wind farm.

Councillors voted unanimously to object to permit application for the Willatook Wind Farm development following a community consultation process, during which 62 members shared their views.

Mayor, Ian Smith, said while Council would not be making the decision about the permit
application, it was important it made a strong representation to the Minister for Planning on
behalf of the community.

“There’s no doubt Moyne has done the heavy lifting when it comes to wind farms – we are
supportive of renewable energy as a principle, but we want serious concerns addressed and we want some sort of involvement in the decision making process,” he said.

“We have asked our community to share their views to help form our submission to the Minister and its very clear there are concerns around cumulative impacts of development, social license and the ongoing benefits to the community.

“Our submission is also relative of Council’s adopted position to oppose new wind farm developments in Moyne Shire Council until the State Government addresses a series of matters.

“I’d also encourage those who have submitted to Council to also make their submission to the Minister for Planning and request to be heard at a panel so they can share their views with the people who will be making the decision.”

Mayor Smith said Council would also ask to present at any planning panel the Minister convenes on the application.

The proposed Willatook Wind Farm is located between Orford and Hawkesdale in south-west Victoria and consists of up to 59 wind turbine generators, a battery energy storage facility and supporting infrastructure. The project site consists of undulating plains covering more than 4,000 hectares used primarily for sheep and cattle grazing.

The project has been developed by Wind Prospect, an independently-owned renewable energy project developer.

Since 2000, Wind Prospect has gained planning approval for 20 wind farms and two solar farms within Australia. 

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