30 October, 2023
Britnell calls for permit refusal
MEMBER for South-West Coast, Roma Britnell has called on Minister for Planning Sonya Kilkenny to reject the amended planning permit for the Woolsthorpe wind farm.
The wind farm’s planning permit originally had wind turbines up to 168 meters in height, leaving them clear of the flight path for the nearby Warrnambool Airport.
However, the height limit has been amended by the Labor Government’s planning panel to allow towers up to 230 meters in height, representing a 40 per cent increase.
“This is despite this height being greater than the current minimum safe operating level for aircraft operating out of Warrnambool Airport set by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA),” Ms Britnell said.
While the panel stated that CASA could raise the minimum safe operating level to accommodate the wind turbines and allow aircraft to operate, it appears unlikely CASA would allow such a situation to occur, as this could potentially place lives at risk.
“Warrnambool airport is home to Ambulance Victoria’s HEMS4 Helicopter, business operators, flight training providers and local recreational fliers,” Ms Britnell said.
The airport is also regularly visited by planes from Ambulance Victoria, Royal Flying Doctor Service and Angel Flight, which are critical.
“South-West Coast is already doing the heavy lifting to meet renewable energy targets set by a Labor Government that has no plan on how to reach them.
“We cannot put these services at risk due to an irresponsible planning decision, so instead of sacrificing a major regional town’s local airport, Minister Kilkenny must reject the amended permit.”