Council is Advocating for Moyne so that community voices can be heard by all levels of government about energy development, particularly wind farms. Council has ongoing communications with government about a range of energy development issues including wind farm noise, setbacks, transmission lines, traffic & road management and environmental impacts.
On 6 September 2022 Council set a revised position on wind farm development. This change was informed by an extensive consultation process that collated views from a telephone survey of 400 residents and over 100 community and industry submissions.
MOYNE SHIRE COUNCIL WIND FARM POSITION
Moyne Shire Council strongly recommends that 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 (SWREZ) is completed in consultation with Moyne Shire and other affected Councils and communities.
This is supported by ensuring that strategic planning must provide for:
- Increased wind farm turbine buffers to 5 km from towns and settlements, 2 km from houses and 1 km from neighbouring property boundaries;
- A methodology developed to consider cumulative impacts of wind farm development and used to assess all future planning permit applications. Assessment should include flora, fauna, vegetation communities, agriculture, emergency management, visual amenity, noise, traffic, road condition and housing availability;
- An agreed cap on development for Moyne Shire that considers the number, location and density of turbines; distance between individual wind farms; development constraints; and cumulative impacts on residents and the environment;
- Significant long term economic and social benefits, provided by companies and the State government for local communities and residents, incorporating local decision making. Economic development through the use of local businesses, employment and training during construction and operation of wind farms:
- Undergrounding of high voltage power lines where technically feasible and where there are no significant environmental or heritage impacts. Where not feasible, high voltage powerlines and infrastructure should be shared between wind farm developments;
- A decommissioning policy that includes statewide decommissioning guidelines, a strategic plan for reuse and recycling components within the State (preferably in SWREZ) and a standardised system for financial security deposit from companies before construction commences;
- Assessment to ensure prime agricultural land and food & fibre production in the Shire is not adversely impacted;
- Processes that ensure significant flora, fauna and vegetation communities are protected from the impacts of development;
- Wind farm development buffers placed around airstrips and airports, and height thresholds on turbines which will retain current Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA) levels, and not impede on current Obstacle Limitation Surfaces (OLS).