With four wind farms approved in the Yass Valley region in NSW, the area is set to become a renewable energy superpower, exporting clean energy to the rest of the state, and bringing in new investment, jobs and community benefits.
So, many locals were surprised to hear that the Yass Valley Council decided to call a halt to future wind farms, despite stating support for renewable energy in general. Council’s decision, made last night, is a minor walk-back from a decision at their previous meeting to ban all wind farms.
At a time when Councils around the country are turning to renewable energy to drive local economic opportunities, inspire local innovation and support their communities, it is extremely disappointing to see Yass Valley Council heading in the other direction.
By engaging with a transition to a clean energy grid, Councils have the ability to manage the impacts of that transition while maximising the benefits for ratepayers. Taking a stance against wind farms locks out future investment opportunities from the rapidly growing wind industry.
The three wind farms ready for construction could see an extra $1 million each year in Community Enhancement Funding flow to local groups, and tens of millions more go to local businesses through construction and operation.
Prior to the decision our supporters invited Yass Councillors to tour a wind farm site and chat about the local benefits they're experiencing.
Justin Mooney shares his experience with Councillor Frost "Wind farms have helped pay my mortgage for seven years".
Farm contractor, Nic Clancy, explains how his business has grown from two to ten staff working on wind and solar farms in Southern Tablelands.