Storm over Wind Turbine


It seems there is a gap in the planning laws big enough to drive a wind turbine through!

A situation has developed in Surf Beach where installation of a 10.5m wind turbine appears likely to leave neighbours and residents severely impacted. If it had been possible for proper community consultation to take place, it may not have got to this stage.

On September 22nd, an email was sent to Government from Birdlife Australia, raising their concerns that there will be detrimental consequences to the adjacent Short-tailed Shearwater breeding colony. Click here to read the full email.

On September 21st, an email was sent to Government requesting they use Emergency Powers under Section 102 of the Safety and Building Act 1993 by a Surf Beach property owner Click here to see the full text.

On September 18th, local residents spoke with Tony Jones on 3AW Mornings, and to Channel 9 News in the evening

Listen to 3AW’s coverage from 18th September
Local residents and BCSC CEO Ali Wastie speak to Channel 9 News on 18th September

Council has been aware of this unresolved planning issue since 2003, and now Bass Coast Shire Council CEO Ali Wastie has written to the State Government highlighting the planning loophole. Ms Wastie has acknowledged resident concerns, explaining the turbine was considered “ancillary to the dwelling”, is proposed to be under 11m which does not trigger a planning permit in the general residential zone and the output of energy from is considered within acceptable parameters for domestic use.

“It is unfortunate that as it stands a planning permit is not required.” Ms Wastie said. “As CEO, I have written to the state government to request amendments to planning schemes to enable council review and oversight of domestic wind turbines. I have also written to the landowner regarding the community concerns.”

“The Victorian Building Authority have confirmed that the turbine is an unclassifiable structure and therefore exempt from regulations.”

BCRRA is disappointed that Council has not been able to find a way to stop construction until the issue can be better understood and community consultation has ensued. Alternative energy will form a significant part of our future but requires appropriate controls everywhere.

Ms Wastie has stated that Council will pursue any and all enforcement options, but concerned community members should consider sending an email direct to:

Bass Coast State Member – Hon Jordan Crugnale MP

Minister for Local Government and Suburban Development – The Hon. Shaun Leane

and to

Minister for Planning – The Hon. Richard Wynne

Also we refer you to Island Voice’s Facebook post for further information.

What’s to stop this happening in your neighbour’s back yard?A wind turbine is being built in a residential street in…

Posted by Island Voice from the Phillip Island Progress Association on Sunday, 13 September 2020