Mitchell Shire’s Councillors voted to deny Infigen a planning permit despite the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposal meeting the Victorian government’s stringent wind farm planning regulations; being recommend for approval by shire planners; and supported by the Mitchell Shire Environment Advisory Committee, BEAM Mitchell Environment Group, and Friends of the Earth Australia.
President Caroline Morris articulated the community group’s support for the project in a letter published by the North Central Review (December 11, 2012):
BEAM Mitchell Shire Environment Group would like to draw your attention to our position on the Cherry Tree Hill wind farm.
BAM supports local renewable energy developments in response to climate change and peak oil, and we provided both a written and verbal submission to Mitchell Shire Council in support of the proposed wind farm.
We believe that the benefits of the proposed development outweigh the concerns we had in relation to local flora and fauna, and that these concerns could be addressed through the planning permit process.
We were disappointed with Mitchell Shire Council’s vote against issuing a permit.
This vote was not in line with the council’s own strategy documents which confirm a need to address climate change and peak oil locally.
We believe this decision will further divide the community, rather than bringing everyone together to find local solutions to a global problem.
BEAM’s submissions and response to the Mitchell Shire Council can be found on our website.
– Caroline Morris, President, BEAM Mitchell Environment Group
Yes 2 Renewables commend BEAM Mitchell Environment Group’s leadership on the issue. It takes courage to publicly support such a proposal in the face of an organised anti-wind campaign that often employs bullying tactics. The community environment group’s stance is yet another example of the emerging TWIMBY (Turbines Wanted In My Back Yard) movement.