ABOUT 40 people turned out at an information session in Bathurst this week to learn more about the draft guidelines for wind farm planning.
The guidelines have been prepared to make sure there is effective communication with communities. They will also ensure the assessment process is consistent, transparent and rigorous.
The Draft NSW Wind Farm Planning Guidelines will be on exhibition until March 14 and can be viewed at www.planning.nsw.gov.au (click on ‘Draft Policies and Plans’ under ‘On Exhibition’).
Hard copies have also been sent to Bathurst Regional Council.
Interested members of the public are invited to comment on the draft guidelines.
The session, organised by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure, was held over three hours at Bathurst Library.
Communications co-ordinator Jim Hanna said a range of views were expressed during the information session.
Departmental staff were present to explain the guidelines and hear what people had to say about them.
He said there were a number of people present with genuine concerns about the introduction of wind farms, and they were shown how the guidelines addressed those worries.
“Some people thought the guidelines were not stringent enough, while others thought they were too stringent,” Mr Hanna said.
“There were also quite a large number of people who just came for a look.”
He said four submissions were received from people in the Bathurst Region on the day, but it is likely more will be lodged online.
Mr Hanna said the aim of the process is to create a clear and transparent guide to assist with assessing wind farm applications. He said this will ensure the community has confidence in the process.
A meetings was held in Yass earlier in the week and another was held in Glen Innes yesterday.
The departmental representatives also met with staff from Bathurst Regional Council prior to the community meeting.
“Councils are our partners in the planning process and will assess some windfarm applications,” Mr Hanna said.