Residents challenge Latrobe Valley wind farm in Supreme Court

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A group of Victorian residents living near a site intended for a wind farm will challenge the project’s approval in the state’s highest court.

The 33-turbine Delburn Wind Farm near the Strezlecki Ranges was approved by Victorian Planning Minister Richard Wynne in March after a planning committee assessed the project last year.

The turbines would be built in pine plantations near the site of the former coal-fired Hazelwood power plant, which closed in 2017.

Now the 1,000-strong Strezlecki Community Alliance is seeking to have the decision overturned by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

Residents say the Latrobe City Council town plan prohibits the construction of a wind farm within three miles of the urban areas of Moe, Morwell and Traralgon.

While the developer of the Delburn wind farm, Osmi Australia, has filed planning applications with three separate local councils, 28 of the 33 planned wind turbines fall under the jurisdiction of Latrobe City Council.

Delburn Wind Farm Inc was listed as the second defendant in the civil case, after the Minister.

Court documents reveal the alliance represents 483 households from Moe, Boolarra, Yinnar, Thorpedale, Delburn and Mirboo North.

The group says that during the commission’s assessment of the project, Latrobe City Council “made no submissions on this legal issue regarding the prohibited use of land for [a] wind power plant under the scheme”.

Artist’s impression of the Delburn Wind Farm proposed for pine plantations near the closed Hazelwood Power Station.(Supplied: OSMI Australia)

The alliance is represented by lawyer Dominica Tannock, who successfully helped two clients reduce nighttime noise from the Bald Hills wind farm in neighboring South Gippsland after the Supreme Court found that noise from wind turbines created a nuisance.

“And we rely on an expert report from a registered surveyor which indicates that the proposed wind farm to be built at Delburn is within 5km of a residential area in the urban area of ​​Moe, Morwell [and] Traralgon, [which is] prohibited by the municipal urban plan.

There will be a management hearing on the case later this month.


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