19 May, 2023
Council questions windfarm application
Moyne Shire Council has expressed disappointment a planning permit application for a new six turbine wind farm at Garvoc has been lodged with the Minister for Planning with no prior community engagement.
Council officers had minimal information about the planned wind farm until the application was lodged.
While Council has no formal approval role in decision-making when it comes to wind farm applications, developers generally engage with council and keep them informed of their plans.
Mayor Cr Karen Foster said it is usually standard for a developer to engage with the community they plan to build in.
“On a broader scale, that hasn’t happened in this situation.
The first anyone knew about this was when the application was lodged with the Minister,” Cr Foster said.
“I’m sure they have engaged with the landowners who will host turbines, but there has been no engagement with the wider community.
“It’s disappointing and goes to the point we have been making about social license for wind farms being non-existent. Actions like this don’t help the situation.
“Council will make a submission to the application process which include real and meaningful engagement with community.”
Cr Foster said now the planning permit application has been lodged, it immediately impacts all land within 1km of the boundary of the site.
“This now means for all land in the farming zone, a planning permit will be now required for any proposed dwelling, extension to existing dwellings, accommodation uses and rural worker housing,”
It’s disappointing that the residents around the proposed development haven’t been consulted or engaged and now they have restrictions placed on them.
“I would ask the Minister to consider the lack of community engagement and consultation when considering the planning permit application.”