John Bos has seen Hawkesdale decline over the years and reckons the wind farm planned for the town’s outskirts will further stifle development.
Mr Bos, who has lived in Hawkesdale for 25 years, said having wind turbines only one kilometre from Warwillah Road on the town’s southern outskirts was likely to block any effort to expand the town’s boundaries back to their original location at Warwillah Road.
He said people were unlikely to build a home close to the 180-metre high turbines, three times the height of the West Gate bridge, that were planned for the area.
The town currently had only three shopfront businesses and that number could drop further if there was no more development in the town, Mr Bos said.
He said the turbines had originally been planned for about two kilometres from the town but had been brought closer through amendments to the original planning application.
However the wind farm proponent, Global Power Generation (GPG), said no turbines had been moved since its original application but some had been removed.
Mr Bos said the state government’s amalgamation of local government in the 1990s dealt a serious blow to Hawkesdale and the state was set to inflict another blow with its push for wind farms.
It was steamrolling wind farms through against community opposition in its campaign for more renewable energy, he said.
Mr Bos, who is a partner with his wife in the Hawkesdale post office, said he had raised his concerns with local politicians but had been told there was little that could be done to stop the 26-turbine farm because it had been approved by the state government.
However a community meeting at Hawkesdale hall at 5pm on July 4 will explore what options people have to express concerns about wind farms planned for Hawkesdale and other parts of the south-west.
Meeting convenor Janet Collins 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.