Hepburn Shire Council will call on the state government to support community wind farms by removing obstacles to their development.
The council, the home of the Hepburn Wind development at Leonards Hill, wants the state government to recognise the differences between community and corporate wind farms – and that they require different approaches to policy and guidelines for operation.
A planning amendment VC82 prohibits wind farms in proscribed areas, such as within two kilometres of an existing dwelling without written consent of the owners.
Birch Ward councillor Rod May said VC82 took away from communities the chance to make up their own minds.
“I think a community should have the opportunity to have a say on its own destiny,” he said.
Cr May said Hepburn Shire had benefited greatly from Australia’s first community-owned wind farm, but VC82 thwarted other communities from having the same opportunity
“It has brought to this shire a great number of skills, a great amount of expertise and an opportunity for people to invest in something in the community,” he said.
The council voted at its ordinary meeting on Tuesday to enlist the support of the Municipal Association of Victoria and the Victorian Local Government Association to call on the state government to review VC82 and other obstacles to communities developing their renewable energy enterprises.
Holcombe Ward councillor Bill McClenaghan and Creswick Ward councillor Don Henderson voted against the motion.
Cr McClenaghan said it could open the council up to legal action by the anti-wind-farm lobby.