A PROPOSAL to build a 43-turbine wind farm at Flyers Creek has divided the area’s community for quite some time.
But it seems the rest of the state also has an opinion on the issue.
About 50 individuals and members of organisations took to the lectern at public meetings at the Blayney Community Centre on Tuesday and Wednesday, many representing parties hundreds of kilometres from the proposed wind farm site about 20 kilometres south of Orange.
However, they were speaking from first-hand experience of having a wind farm located in their backyard.
These speakers included Jennifer Price-Jones from the Crookwell District Landscape Gardens.
Other organisations that had a voice at the meeting included the Taralga Landscape Guardians and Friends of Collector, the National Industrial Wind Turbine Research Council, the Environmentally Concerned Citizens of Orange (ECCO) and the Bathurst Community Climate Action Network.
Local voices spoke before the 70-strong crowd too, including Patina Schneider from the Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group and Member for Bathurst Paul Toole, who said he represented the several constituents who had approached him to raise concerns associated with the wind farm proposal.
Mr Toole urged the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), which hosted the meeting, to hear submissions before making a final determination on the project, to take into account several factors.
“Wind farms like this have proven to be extremely divisive in the community, pitting mate against mate. [It’s been] pretty ugly. That needs to be considered in the planning assessment,” he said.
He also said they should look at the roads within the area, noting they were not at a standard to cope with the heavy machinery associated with construction of the wind farm.
And any cost of an upgrade “should not be borne by the ratepayers of Blayney”.
The planning department recommended the PAC approve the $195 million development last November.