Landholders on properties adjoining wind turbines should get a payment recognising the noise and visual impact the turbines have on their lives, Member for Western Victoria James Purcell says.
Mr Purcell said the “trickle down” payments to neighbouring properties would also help overcome the division occurring in south-west rural communities over wind farms.
“It’s unfair because a fence divides who gets paid,” he said.
Moyne Shire Cr Jim Doukas has said south-west wind farms were “pitching neighbour against neighbour” with tension between farmers paid by wind energy companies for having wind turbines on their properties and those next door who got nothing.
Mr Purcell also said he believed the 26-turbine farm approved for Hawkesdale would have turbines too close to the township with some less than two kilometres away.
However he believed it was now too late for residents to stop the state government-approved project and people with concerns about wind farms should focus their attention on projects still in the proposal stage such as the 98-turbine farm being discussed for Willatook, west of Hawkesdale.
Mr Purcell said wind farms provided great benefits for the south-west but they had to be in the right location.
He said the benefits included not only the 15 permanent jobs to come from the Hawkesdale and nearby wind farm at Ryan Corner, north of Port Fairy, but also hundreds of other jobs involved in the farms’ construction.
The farms also paid tens of thousands of dollars each year to farmers to have turbines on their land and provided a substantial boost to Moyne Shire Council’s rate revenue, Mr Purcell said.
“A lot of the good stuff that Moyne Shire has been able to do is because of the increase in rate revenue.
“That helps the whole community,” he said.