Bendigo backs wind farms

This article is from the Bendigo Advertiser, journalist: Rosa Ellen

The City of Greater Bendigo council will write to Premier Ted Baillieu to seek a reversal of the government’s controversial wind farm policy.

Councillor Keith Reynard raised the motion to write to the premier “to express disappointment” over the planning amendment announced in August this year, which restricts wind turbines from being built within five kilometres of Bendigo.

The amendment also created a blanket ban on wind farms within land bounded by the McIvor Highway and the Calder Freeway and Highway.

Cr Reynard said the legislation “severely restricts the options for renewable energy from wind generation across the whole of Victoria”.

He said a letter would question the rationale and science behind the policy, as well as seek a meeting with Energy Minister Michael O’Brien and the premier.

“This particularly affects the City of the Greater Bendigo as our southern and south eastern areas are on the edge of a viable wind resource capability that could potentially support future development of wind turbines within our municipality,” he said.

Council director of presentation and assets Darren Fuzzard said that no applications had been submitted for a wind a farm in Bendigo in the past 12 years and that the planning laws introduced by the state government were to address low frequency sound issues.

Cr Reynard said studies had shown no evidence that low frequency sound affected peoples’ health.

The motion, raised at Wednesday night’s council meeting, was passed with three councillors voting against.

The council also voted to start budgeting for a Bendigo Municipal Energy Security Plan, to look at renewable energy systems to meet peak demand periods.

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