Hawkesdale community air concerns at meeting with national wind farm commissioner

ABOUT 100 people attended a community meeting in Hawkesdale last week to air their concerns about the proliferation of wind farms in the area.

Local councillors and politicians joined the crowd at the Hawkesdale Hall to hear from national wind farm commissioner Andrew Dyer and voice their opinions.

The meeting was arranged in relation to the proposed amendments to the Ryan Corner and Hawkesdale wind farms, which would see the blade tip height go from 126.3 metres to 180 metres.

The amendment application would also see the number of turbines drop from 31 to 26 at Hawkesdale and 68 to 56 at Ryan Corner. 

Member for South West Coast Roma Britnell said most of the people who attended weren’t “anti-wind farm” but wanted to ask questions about the future of wind farms in the region.

“There’s been a lot of concern in the community about the landscape becoming saturated and their view filled with towers three times the height of the Westgate Bridge,” Mrs Britnell said.

“(Some people) are concerned about the value of their properties.

“It appears there’s going to be a real drive for more and more, and people (are worried they’ll be) surrounded.”

Mrs Britnell said residents also raised concerns about the consultation processes and a feeling that the wishes of nearby residents didn’t carry enough weight at panel hearings and during the submission stages.

“When you’re up against a QC with evidence and a government determined to put them up, what ability do the people have to have any power?” she said.

The Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner wind farms are expected to be completed by August 29, 2019.