Wind farm proposal a jobs boom

More than 70 ongoing regional jobs would be created by the proposed Golden Plains Wind Farm if the project is given the green light, according to the developer WestWind.

The company said a further 768 local jobs would be created during the construction process of the 200-240 turbine project, which will be completed by 2021 if the project does not face any hold ups.

The Mount Mercer Wind Farm, which is also located in the Golden Plains Shire.

WestWind held a community consultation process at the Rokewood Hall on Thursday, with around 200 locals attending.

WestWindcommunications and stakeholder engagement manager Paige Ricci said while the feedback from the community had been overwhelmingly positive, some residents had expressed concern at the scale of the project.

“It allowed a lot people to come through and hear about the proposal andthe majority were supportive and keen to hear how it might benefit the community,” Ms Ricci said. “We had a few who were concerned with the visibility of the project and some were a little bit overwhelmed by what they had read in the paper.”

Developers have proposed installing turbines with a tip height of between 190-220 metres, notably taller than the nearby Mount Mercer Wind Farm turbines which are also located in the Golden Plains Shire.

The farm would generate more than 2500 gigawatt hours of electricity per year, enough to power more than 450,000 homes.

The developers will hold a briefing with Golden Plains Shire councillors next Tuesday ahead of the council meeting. The project will need to have a planning permit approved by the state planning minister before construction can begin.

Rokewood councillorHelena Kirby said the response from Rokewood residents had been surprisingly favourable after the proposal was first made public a fortnight ago. “Most people have seen the turbines over in Mount Mercer so they’ve got some experience with them,” Cr Kirby said.

At least $200,000 per annum is required to be spent in the community as part of the farm’s community fund program.

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