Ararat wind farm proposal: wool producer voices concerns

CONCERN: Helen Darbyshire's family farm east of Ararat is earmarked for six wind turbines as part of a wind farm project.

CONCERN: Helen Darbyshire's family farm east of Ararat is earmarked for six wind turbines as part of a wind farm project.

EVERSLEY super-fine wool producer Helen Darbyshire has been hoping and waiting for a wind farm to be built on her property for about 10 years.

Her family's 600-hectare farm east of Ararat is earmarked for six wind turbines as part of Pacific Hydro's Crowlands wind farm project.

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Pacific Hydro started construction in August last year.

But the organisation cites uncertainty around the Renewable Energy Target review and pending finalisation of some aspects of the project, including commercial feasibility, with slow progress.

"We just want the Renewable Energy Target left as it is, please," Mrs Darbyshire said.

She was concerned wind farms planned within the region could be jeopardised by the political climate.

"With three wind farms in our area, it would be just colossal for the entire district, to say nothing of the beautiful, clean, green energy," she said.

Mrs Darbyshire said the Crowlands wind farm would benefit farmers included in the project and the broader Ararat district.

"For the ones who are lucky enough to be getting turbines, it will drought-proof our farms," she said.

Meanwhile, she said the municipality would benefit from the investment.

"It would be such a boost to the economy," she said.

"But we really want the wind farm not just for our benefit, but because we've seen the climate change.

"We've been here for yonks now and we've never seen the Wimmera River so dry."

She is part of a group of landholders called Highlanders, whose properties are part of the region's proposed wind farms.

"The Renewable Energy Target review is our biggest worry at the moment, because if they keep reviewing the target every two years, it won't be a viable proposition for the wind energy companies to go ahead and build our proposed wind farm," she said.

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