Monday, February 26, 2024

Moyne Shire seeks wind farm feedback

Victoria’s Moyne Shire Council is asking for feedback from the community as it looks to revise its position on wind farm developments across the shire.

Council has planned a month-long consultation process which includes a telephone survey
conducted by National Field Services and JWS Research, written and online submissions from the community and engagement with youth through the Moyne NextGen! Platform.

Mayor, Ian Smith said that back in 2018 Council had resolved to oppose all new wind farms unless certain recommendations made by the Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner in 2017 were implemented by the State Government.

“The recommendations our position was based on are now out of date and we have to revise our position on wind farm developments across the shire,” Mayor Smith said.

He said Council was now seeking feedback from the community on a draft position which
states: ‘Moyne Shire Council strongly recommends that the State Government pauses the issuing of all wind farm planning permits in the Shire until strategic land use planning in the South West Renewable Energy Zone (REZ) is completed in consultation with Moyne Shire and other affected Councils and communities‘.

Council says REZ planning should include:
• Wind farm development buffers placed around towns/townships;
• A methodology developed to assess cumulative impacts, and used to assess all future
planning permit applications;
• An agreed cap on development for Moyne Shire (development threshold of number of
turbines or density limits);
• Significant strategic long term economic and social benefits for host communities;

  • Undergrounding of high voltage power lines where technically feasible, or otherwise
    powerline sharing;
    • A decommissioning policy.

“While we recognise the need for renewable energy developments, we want to make sure they are done properly and that the whole community which is hosting the turbines benefits,” he said.

“Wind farm developments are still a key issue for our communities and for Council, unfortunately under current state government rules, Council doesn’t have a seat at the table when new projects are being approved, but we are responsible for enforcing compliance with permit conditions.

“We are continuing to advocate to the State Government on behalf of our communities for changes to the approval process and our draft position reiterates our strong stance that host communities and neighbours must be more carefully considered in the process.”

Written submissions will be received by Council until 30 June 2022.

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