Delburn Wind Farm

Ms BATH (Eastern Victoria) (18:35): (1887) My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Planning, and it relates to the Delburn wind turbines. The action I seek from the minister is to halt the planning permit process until he has met with the members of the Strzelecki Community Alliance to go through their many serious issues in relation to the proposal. The Strzelecki Community Alliance is an incorporated entity of over 1000 community members who either live in the area or hold property in the areas of Yinnar, Boolarra and Hernes Oak in Central Gippsland. They oppose the development and cite a number of concerns. The wind facility is being proposed in a densely populated community. It is also being proposed over a pine plantation with a history of devastation from fires in that area and two royal commissions within the last five years. There is a community of approximately 6000 residents that live within 5 kilometres of these wind turbines. They are very concerned about the inadequacy around the fighting of bushfires, and indeed in the planning project report a submission from the CFA states:

The project is likely to be impacted at some stage by uncontrollable landscape bushfires, fires that cannot be managed by site-based mitigation or broader emergency management.

Damage and destruction of assets by bushfire is likely if this proposal proceeds.

You are going to put 33 wind turbines over the top of plantations, and the CFA is saying that it is likely that there will be bushfire through this. That has huge and significant ramifications that the minister has not adequately considered. Other issues go to noise infringements, and they have concerns around that. The Bald Hills wind farm had a Supreme Court judgement come back and say that they had not met specification. They have huge concerns around the visual amenity. Indeed some of the proposals say to plant more trees to hide them—well, they will in fact grow into and be fuel risks and fire potential in the future. The Latrobe airport needs to be addressed. The wind turbines’ position is too close to public roads. They also place restrictions on landowners’ use of their land. There is a delay in the air ambulance. There is a huge a raft of concerns that they have. There is a disregard for property devaluation costs borne by the neighbouring owners—regarded as irrelevant—so they are not considering the loss to the community. There is insufficient feedback from roads and highways. As I said, there are significant concerns. The minister needs to stop this proposal, stop the planning, meet with the Strzelecki Community Alliance—they are well organised and have a detailed outline—and speak to them about this proposal.