The Moyne Shire and the State Government are on notice, as residents and local communities have emphatically rejected any more wind farms in the shire.
Community anger was on display at a recent meeting at Mortlake, where the clear message from the crowd of almost 500 people was “there is no room in our backyard for another wind farm”.
The next step from the community members will be to hold the shire, in particular, accountable to keep its promise of no more wind farms.
Residents and local community had pushed for a motion to ban any further wind farms for the already overcrowded Mortlake region of the council.
As it was, that motion was defeated in favour of a motion to not allow 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 that 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.
Mt Fyans Wind Farm Action Group member David Allen, Boorook, Mortlake, said the main focus for the group was to make sure the Moyne Shire “actually does what it has said it would do”.
“And that is to stop any wind farm developments until the Wind Farm Commissioner’s recommendations are adopted or even legislated,” Mr Allen said.
He said the community was saying “there is no more room in our backyard, we are doing enough for renewable energy”.
There were three wind farms either planned or operational within 20 kilometres of Mortlake and 400 turbines in the Moyne Shire – enough to power half of Melbourne, he said.
The Mount Fyans proposal had “tipped the community over the edge”, with the scale of the project.
Mr Allen said the footprint of the project, just two to three turbines wide, covered about 25km in a boomerang shape.
“So the area of the turbines themselves (without any exclusion area) is about 50 square kilometres or 5000 hectares,” he said.
As well as turbines visible at every point of the compass, the projects each had transmission lines that crisscrossed the countryside.
The existing lines and towers were visible for miles, he said.
The height of the turbines on the proposed Mount Fyans wind farm were 200 metres; the existing Salt Creek farm turbines were 150 metres high.
The community wanted a formal, transparent process that was fair to everyone.