FIFTY-NINE years after arriving, Lismore district identities Lachlan and Alison McBean say they will have to move after Corangamite Shire Council approved a $47 million power terminal less than 700 metres from their house.
The couple first moved to their property, which fronts the Lower Darlington Road, in 1954. Mr McBean is the last surviving soldier settler in the area.
Mr McBean’s son, Sandy, who runs a merino sheep enterprise on the McBean farm, said the family was “very unhappy” with the council’s decision to approve the construction of the power terminal building across the road from his parents’ home.
Sandy McBean said the application by the Origin Energy company had placed his parents at considerable disadvantage and put them under enormous pressure.
He said the go-ahead for the power terminal near the farm which his parents had worked for the past 59 years was “devastating for them”. “It will be a tragic situation,” he said.
Mr McBean’s father, who flew Lancaster bombers during the Second World War, and his mother had both contributed significantly to the Lismore community.
“They love where they live,” Sandy McBean said.
The terminal will be about the size of 60 quarter-acre house blocks while pylons near the terminal would be 70 metres high, he said.
The Lismore site was chosen by Origin after a previously approved site at Berrybank proved unsuitable.
The Lismore site was chosen because of its close vicinity to the 500-kilovolt transmission lines from Moorabool to Heywood and will be the connection point for power from Origin’s proposed Stockyard Hill wind farm into the national electricity grid.
Among the reasons the earlier Berrybank site was rejected was the proposed route for transmission lines from Stockyard Hill to Berrybank proved too difficult to achieve.
Sandy McBean told the council’s meeting on Tuesday night an in-principle agreement had been reached between Origin and one of the three McBean family objectors to the terminal.
The in-principle agreement was reached with the owners of McBean farm, Sandy McBean’s sisters Heather and Margaret McBean, but details of the agreement have not been revealed.
Origin said it would continue to consult with the McBeans to develop an outcome suitable to all parties. Sandy McBean said he believed the community could benefit from the wind farm development “without the devastating impact on a long-term resident”.
He called on the council to lobby the state government to stop terminal buildings such as the one proposed at Lismore from being built so close to residences.
Sandy McBean said his parents’ house was only 570 metres away from structures associated with the terminal building, some of which included 70-metre-high pylons.