Monday, June 21, 2021

Push for improved planning on wind farm developments

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Moyne Shire Council, Media Release, 24 May 2021

Council’s push for an improved planning approach to renewable energy developments has received a boost after gaining support from the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).

In a motion put to Friday’s MAV State Council, Moyne Shire Council called on the MAV to advocate to the Planning Minister and Energy and Environment Minister for a strategic approach to be taken on renewable energy projects and transmission lines.

Moyne Shire Mayor, Cr Daniel Meade said that while the motion was passed by the MAV State Council, there was still a long way to go.

“Council has been advocating to the State Government about wind farm development since 2018, when we formally passed a motion to oppose any further wind farms in Moyne until certain conditions are met,” Cr Meade said.

“Despite our efforts however, we are yet to see significant changes to the planning framework that address the concerns of the communities that host renewable energy projects.

“The support of the MAV to join our advocacy efforts is a positive step, and we appreciate the State Council understanding the seriousness of this issue.”

In his address to the MAV State Council, Cr Meade spoke about the impacts being experienced in parts of the Shire.

“The communities in the north east and western parts of our Shire are already experiencing the cumulative impacts from ongoing development and operation of clusters of wind farms.

“Social impacts such as rental housing shortages and prices rises, anxiety and community stress, coupled with noise, traffic, visual and environmental impacts, are impacting the quality of life of some of our residents.

“The impacts of wind farms and associated infrastructure, particularly transmission lines, could be mitigated if a strategic land use planning approach was applied by the State Government.

“The approach should assess and map constraints to development, such as housing, town boundaries, threatened flora and fauna, and use criteria to map suitable areas for development.

“This should be coupled with rigorous processes for cumulative social and environmental impact assessment for all future developments in the identified locations.

“While Council recognises the Victorian Government has legislated renewable energy targets, there must be a duty of care towards the rural communities that will be hosting large scale renewable energy facilities in order for these targets to be met.”

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