Moyne Shire Council has voted to oppose any more wind farms in the shire until the state government adopts recommendations to avoid having multiple wind farms in one location.
The vote was passed at a rowdy meeting at Mortlake where councillors faced repeated interjections from a packed public gallery wanting the council to adopt another motion by Cr Jim Doukas that called for the council to make an outright statement of opposition to any more wind farms in the shire.
However councillors rejected Cr Doukas’ motion in favour of one from Cr Colin Ryan that called for the council to oppose any more wind farms in the shire until the state government had adopted recommendations of the national wind farm commissioner.
The national wind farm commissioner has recommended approval for wind farms should consider avoiding having multiple wind farms in one location, the compounding effect of other wind farms in the area and the amount of community support for wind farm proposals.
Cr Ryan’s motion also called for Western Victoria Upper House Labor members Jaala Pulford and Gayle Tierney to meet with people in the south-west to find out the impact of wind farms on local communities.
Cr Ian Smith said he supported Cr Ryan’s motion ahead of Cr Doukas’ because “we need something with a lot of teeth”.
He said state planning minister Richard Wynne was not listening to south-west communities about wind farms and it was essential he met with locals on the issue.
“This is the coal face of renewable energy out here on the western plains,” Cr Smith said.
“People are saying they want the load (of wind farms) shared throughout the state.”
But his call was met with jeers from the public gallery who strongly cheered Cr Doukas’ call for the council to tell the state government the shire had enough wind farms “and we do not want any more”.
In his report to the council, Cr Doukas said there were 10 wind farms either built or approved for construction in the shire. He said the 10 wind farms involved 419 wind turbines and would produce enough renewable energy to supply half of Melbourne.
Cr Doukas said if more wind farms were approved, it would destroy communities in the shire.