VICTORIAN Planning Minister Richard Wynne has called in all four planning permit applications related to the proposed Delburn Wind Farm.

Developer, OSMI said it had been advised by the Minister he has determined to call in the applications following requests from OSMI, at least one of the local councils and a number of members of the community.

The Minister advised that by calling in the applications, major issues of policy in the relevant planning schemes could be considered including:

• Protection of biodiversity.

• Native vegetation management.

• Bushfire planning.

• Land use compatibility.

• Diversified economy.

• Renewable energy.

He also noted that, if approved and built, the proposal would contribute towards renewable energy generation targets set out in the Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Act 2017.

OSMI welcomed the call in, saying it believed it provided the greatest opportunity for the community to have a say during the planning process.

DELWP is currently reviewing the applications.

The applications will then be referred to the relevant government agencies for comment, after which OSMI will be required to formally notify the community of the application and comment period on public notice boards, newspaper advertisements and direct mail out to near neighbours (as defined by DELWP).

OSMI said it would provide more information on how to make a submission to the Minister when the timing of the public comment period becomes clear.

Members of the community who decide to make a submission will also have the opportunity of making a verbal presentation to the Planning Panel that is required to make a recommendation to the Minister on whether or not to issue a planning permit.

Community meeting

The first meeting of the Delburn Wind Farm Community and Stakeholder Consultative Committee was held in Thorpdale on Monday, March 29 with 12 representatives from various community and stakeholder groups in the area as well as independent members from the community surrounding the project.

The focus of the meeting was introductions and the role and functioning of the committee. The chair noted the aim of the committee was “to focus on generating understanding, and not acceptance of the project, any specific position, or the views of others involved in the committee”.

Those at the meeting said there should be more representation of people who may be directly impacted by the proposal and that independent community members for the localities of Darlimurla, Driffield, Thorpdale and Yinnar were still to be appointed. Anyone from these areas who is interested in joining the committee is welcome to nominate themselves via cscc@delburnwindfarm.com.au

The next meeting will be held on Monday, April 26, 5-7pm at the Baromi Centre in Mirboo North.