Member for Tamworth Kevin Anderson released the results of a poll conducted since March 2022, showing 58.9 per cent of Crawney, Hanging Rock, Nundle and Bowling Alley Point respondents oppose Engie’s Hills of Gold Wind Farm.
Hills of Gold Preservation Inc members thank Mr Anderson for releasing the results of the poll and for collecting the hard data, which he intends to provide to the Determining authority, the Independent Planning Commission.
This comes a week after Tamworth Regional Council endorsed a nine-page letter continuing to oppose the proposed wind farm, stating it is not in the public interest due to the “unsuitability of the site.” Council’s extensive objection includes preserving biodiversity on neighbouring Ben Halls Gap Nature Reserve and Crawney Pass National Park, Crown Land, private land, and roadsides. Other reasons include unresolved access, and maintaining bushfire control, community safety, road infrastructure, First Nations and European heritage, and visual amenity.
The results of Mr Anderson’s poll confirm evidence of local majority community opposition provided by paper and online petition signatures, and unique submissions from impacted LGAs during Hills of Gold Wind Farm Environmental Impact Statement public exhibition conducted by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment.
In addition to respondents within the Tamworth electorate, a petition showing local majority opposition to Hills of Gold Wind Farm among Timor residents in the Upper Hunter electorate has been presented to Upper Hunter Shire Council.
The majority of residents within 5km of the nearest proposed wind turbines object to the Hills of Gold Wind Farm. Community groups including Nundle Business Tourism and Marketing Group Inc, Upper Peel Landcare Group, Timor Community, PTSD Care, Nundle Nationals and Tamworth Regional Residents and Ratepayers Association have also voiced their opposition or concern.
A Department of Planning and Environment representative indicated its Recommendation is some two to three months away (July/August), and an Independent Planning Commission Determination would be two months after that (September/October).
In its autumn newsletter Engie stated post-Determination ongoing processes include a merit-based appeal court process and judicial reviews.