'A group, including affected farmers, will take on planning minister Richard Wynne and the project's proponent West-wind Energy at trial after the $1.5 billion Golden Plains wind farm northwest of Geelong was ticked off by the state and federal governments. Objector Hamish Cumming, and Rokewood farmers Adam Walton and Kellie Walton, who are also behind the challenge, say the number of turbines included in the project should be reduced from 228 to about 130 to protect the brolga bird that breed in the area.'-Chad Van Estrop-Geelong Advertiser.
'Moyne Council will also write to the state government asking it to adopt a five-kilometre setback between a wind farm and a township or city boundary, to preserve amenity and opportunities for urban growth'-Article The Standard. The council has previously determined to oppose any more wind farms in the shire until the state government adopts a range of the commissioner's recommendations.
In April 2018, the three projects were "called in" by the Victorian Planning Minister, Richard Wynne, at the request of the City of Greater Shepparton, which did not feel it had relevant planning guidelines to give approval to the projects. Using the projects as an example, the Minister then appointed a planning panel to develop new solar planning guidelines for the state. In July this year, the Government released new planning guidelines for large-scale solar farms. The guidelines were introduced to encourage investment and provide certainty for councils and developers around acceptable outcomes for land, communities and the environment. Now, just weeks before the new guidelines are set to be adopted, the Minister has used the old guidelines to approve the three projects.
Wind Plan needs scrutiny. 22 January 2019 Alex Ford, The Ballarat Courier The state government may have contradicted its own planning advice by approving the Golden Plains wind farm, lawyers say. The state government's environmental effects and planning assessment report for the project states "no other wind farm in Victoria has been approved with such … Continue reading Golden Plains Wind Farm Planning Contradiction