Wind farms supported by Bendigo conference

This comes from the Bendigo Advertiser, journalist is Risa Ellen, 22 Nov, 2011.

MORE voices are to join the protest against wind farm bans after a conference on community-owned energy projects voted to write to the state government over the issue.

About 130 delegates from across Australia attended the two-day Community Power conference in Bendigo last week, to discuss community-run renewable energy projects.

City of Greater Bendigo councillor Keith Reynard said the participants voted unanimously to support the motion for conference conveners to write to the Victorian government over the wind farm policy Amendment VC82, which bans wind farms from being built within five kilometres of regional centres and from land bounded by the McIvor Highway and the Calder Highway.

Among the community wind projects at the national Community Power conference was the successful Hepburn Wind co-operative, which chairman Simon Holmes a Court said would have difficulty being built under the present wind farm planning laws.

Conference convener, Cr Reynard said the restrictive wind farm laws threatened regional development, as well as stopping individual landholders from putting turbines on their properties.

Cr Reynard said the City of Greater Bendigo could follow the lead of Mount Alexander shire council and write to Premier Ted Baillieu about the issue, with a motion seeking approval at the next council meeting.

The so-called wind farm ‘no go zones’ directly impacted plans for one and two-turbine wind farms in Macedon and Castlemaine.

The conveners of the conference will also push for funds from the federal government’s Clean Energy Fund to be set aside for community-owned energy projects.

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