Wind farm pressure picks up

Fight heats up: Noorat and district’s Geraldine Conheady (from left) and Tyna Murray joined Mortlake locals Lachlan Cumming, Tim Haworth, Lisa Parker and Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan (third from right) to discuss the ways to reduce the impact a number of proposed wind farms would have on the south west.

THE conversation around concerns about the concentration of wind farms and transmission lines in the district continued last week.

Member for Polwarth Richard Riordan convened a meeting last Thursday evening with concerned members of the south west community, including those from Noorat, Terang, Mortlake, Woorndoo and Hexham.

Their grievances included insufficient monitoring of proposals to ensure they were compliant with current requirements and a lack of planning requirements, especially around the construction of transmission lines.

Speaking before State Parliament on Tuesday, Mr Riordan said the lack of planning and co-ordination was “breathtaking”.

“Representatives from Inverleigh, Rokewood, Dundonnell, Mount Fyans, Mortlake, Noorat and Hexham all told stories of the bullying at the hands of wind farm developers, who are keen to promise the world and have people sign their rights away under contract,” he said.

“Country communities want control and strategic vision for their renewable energy.

“Communities want their landscapes protected from unnecessary destruction.”

Mr Riordan said the group of concerned community members hoped to hold a meeting next month to display the numbers it had in support of its cause.

“They are looking to establish a network,” he said.

“They are feeling unheard.”

The meeting also saw members of the Mortlake and district community present about 350 individually signed letters to Mr Riordan expressing opposition to the proposed Mount Fyans Wind Farm project.

The proposal includes 87 wind turbines with a maximum blade tip height of 200 metres, with the wind farm covering 14 properties.

Mr Riordan said he would continue to convey the community’s concerns to the Minister for Planning and advocate for more stringent planning regulations.

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