Tension rises on Willatook wind farm

A meeting in Hawkesdale on Wednesday on wind farms is set to reflect deep divisions in the community on the issue.
A meeting in Hawkesdale on Wednesday on wind farms is set to reflect deep divisions in the community on the issue.

Heightened tensions over wind farms are likely to be on display at a meeting in Hawkesdale on Wednesday after landholders who might host wind turbines have been threatened with legal action.

The 4pm meeting at the Hawkesdale hall has not been promoted as a protest meeting but a Willatook Wind Farm Action Group spokesman said he expected concern would be expressed about the high number of wind farms planned for Hawkesdale and surrounding areas.

Divisions over the proposed Willatook wind farm have deepened after the group sent letters threatening legal action to 23 landholders who might have signed agreements to host wind turbines for the farm.

The Willatook farm has proposed 83 turbines, each 220 metres high, for west of Hawkesdale. 

The letter, sent by Piper Alderman lawyers at the request of the action group, warned landholders of potential liability for substantial damages if the wind farm proceeded.

It said the wind farm was liable to create incessant annoying noise, restrict the ability of adjacent landholders to use aerial spraying and hinder aerial firefighting and air ambulance assistance.

Wednesday’s meeting will be addressed by Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning officials about the opportunities the community has to have input into the planning process for wind farms.

Meeting convenor Janet Collins said the focus of the meeting would be on the proposed Willatook and planned 26-turbine Hawkesdale wind farms. 

The meeting will also hear from National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer who will inspect the transmission lines from the Salt Creek wind farm north of Mortlake prior to the meeting.

There’s concern the transmission lines will be replicated many times to take power from the several wind farms planned across the region.

The time for Wednesday’s meeting was changed from 5.30pm to 4pm.

National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer.

National Wind Farm Commissioner Andrew Dyer.

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