As 2022 draws to a close, the Winterbourne Wind Farm team would like to thank you for your continued engagement in our proposed project.
In mid-November this year we reached a significant milestone, lodging the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) with the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE). The EIS provides a comprehensive environmental assessment of the proposed project to inform communities, stakeholders and the consent authority about the potential impacts and benefits of the project.
DPE has made the EIS available on its Major Projects Planning Portal. The EIS is also available on this website under the Downloads tab. Minor corrections to provide additional information and amend the EIS where required were lodged in early December and are available at the same links.
Vestas has committed to creating one of the largest community benefit schemes of any wind farm in Australia, providing a meaningful financial contribution that benefits the Walcha and Uralla communities. The Winterbourne Wind Farm will also create up to 400 new jobs during construction and approximately 16 long-term service and maintenance jobs during operations. Learn more about the project benefits on our website.
Our team recently held two community drop-in sessions in Walcha to answer questions about the EIS and talk the community through the key findings. Thank you to everyone who came along and for your feedback. We see these sessions as an opportunity to answer queries and welcome the opportunity to provide factual information and quantitative data about the proposed project.
Winterbourne Wind Farm has been actively engaging with landholders, neighbours, the Walcha community and local businesses since 2019. During this time, we have conducted more than 1,700 engagements with landholders, neighbours, Councils, government and agency stakeholders; talked to hundreds of people at five separate multi-day community information sessions; created a Community Consultative Committee; provided 11 project newsletters; responded through our dedicated email and phone lines; and hosted more than 23,300 views of the dedicated project website.
Following the EIS exhibition, a Submissions Report will be prepared to provide responses to community and stakeholder feedback. The Submissions Report will be made publicly available. The Minister for Planning will then decide whether to approve the proposal or refer the project to the Independent Planning Commission.
The Winterbourne Wind Farm team wishes you all the best for the summer holidays and looks forward to connecting again in 2023.