Hawkesdale district residents will hold another community meeting next month as they step up their fight against their area’s future as Australia’s wind farm capital.
Meeting convenor Janet Collins said opposition was growing to the plans and proposals for another 201 wind turbines in area, adding to the 140 already operating at the nearby Macarthur wind farm.
She said the 5pm meeting at the Hawkesdale hall on Wednesday, July 4, will give people an opportunity to talk to state government planners involved in the approval process for wind farms. About 150 people were expected to attend, Ms Collins said.
At the meeting will be the Victorian Department of Environment Land Water and Planning (DELWP) statutory planning services executive director Jane Homewood and its wind farms manager Michael Juttner.
The meeting will also include an open forum with National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer, who investigates complaints about wind farms.
Ms Collins expected those opposed to the high number of turbines planned for the area would focus their concerns on the planned 26- turbine Hawkesdale wind farm, which would have towers just over one kilometre from the town, and the proposed 96-turbine Willatook farm, west of Hawkesdale.
She said while plans for the Hawkesdale farm had been approved, there was still a chance to influence the outcome because the farm’s proponent, Global Power Generation (GPG), wanted the state government to sign a support agreement to ensure revenue certainty for the farm.
The outcome of GPG’s bid was expected to be made known next month, she said. GPG has been set up by Gas Natural Fenosa and the Kuwait Investment Authority.
The Willatook wind farm is also in the opponents sights because it has yet to be approved by the state government.
Ms Collins said many local people were not opposed to wind farms but wanted them in appropriate locations.