Council urges Planning Minster to take action on wind farms

Published on 05 April 2019

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Moyne Mayor Cr Mick Wolfe and council officers met with Richard Wynne the State Planning Minister to raise the issues of the cumulative impact, proximity to townships, and social impacts that the spread of wind farms is having on Moyne’s residents.

There are 202 operational wind turbines in Moyne Shire accounting for 1/3rd of Victoria’s wind energy output. Another 130 turbines will soon come on-line with the construction of the Dundonell and Mortlake South wind farms. Permits have been approved for another 102 turbines and yet another 367 have been proposed.

Due to the proliferation, unabated and uncontrolled development of Wind Farms in Moyne Shire, council is urging the State Planning Minister to oppose any further wind farm development in the Moyne Shire until the State Government immediately implements recommendation 8.2.1 to 8.2.7 contained in the 2017 Office of National Wind Farm Commissioner’s Report to Parliament.

 National Wind Farm Commissioner Recommendations 8.2.1 – 8.2.7 (paraphrased)

  • Consider a range of wider criteria when assessing a wind energy project including prioritising projects in a locality, considering the degree of community support, suitability of location from a community impact perspective and proximity to more populated areas.
  • State and local governments consider economic development and ability to support regional and industry development through improved local electricity supply and infrastructure in regional communities.
  • Use zoning/overlays for clarifying where it would be appropriate to build and operate wind farm developments.
  • Create an approvals process to ‘prospect suitable sites’ for wind farm development sites i.e. mineral exploration licensing.
  • Regulate the need to obtain and verify evidence of the developer’s consultation with affected landowners and residents to assess community support for a project.
  • When a wind farm has commenced construction, the impact of other permits existing in area but not implemented should be reviewed, having regard to compounding effects on residents of noise, shadow flicker and visual amenity with the ability to require modification to planning permit conditions and turbine layout.
  • State Government should publish and maintain a map of all operating and proposed wind farms.
  • State and Federal Government and AEMO should review current and planned transmission infrastructure to ensure optimal location for connections in an integrated manner.