Community Benefits

Public Benefit Fund and Neighbour Benefit Program

Community Benefit Fund

The Community Benefit Fund (CBF) is an integral part of the proposed Winterbourne Wind Farm project and will provide a meaningful financial contribution that benefits the whole community.

We will provide $1 million as an initial contribution at or immediately following financial commitment, and a further $750,000 per year for the life of the project once the project commences commercial operations, based on an installed wind farm up to 600 MW in size. In addition, for every megawatt built over 600 MW, we will contribute an extra $1,000/MW annually. So, if a 700 MW wind farm is constructed, we will contribute an extra $100,000 per year, for a total annual contribution across the two schemes of $850,000. The fund will be indexed annually for inflation.

The Community Benefit Fund will return around $34 million to the local community over the expected project life (based on 700 MW project size, with an operational life of 30 years and annual inflation at 1.7%).

This will be one of the largest community benefit schemes of any wind farm in Australia.

We are currently working with Walcha Council and Uralla Shire Council to determine how this fund will be managed and governed under a Voluntary Planning Agreement. We propose that the funds in the CBF will be split 90% to the Walcha community and 10% to the Uralla Shire community, which accords with the relative geographic and infrastructure split of the proposed project within each LGA. Subject to discussions with each council, separate CBFs may be established to administer the funds to be allocated to each LGA.

Jobs and Economic Benefits

The project will deliver significant benefits to the New England region and local communities, including

Significant investment in the New England region

Opportunities for local contractors and businesses

Up to 400 new jobs expected to be created during construction

Around 15 long-term service and maintenance jobs created during project operation

Development of new skilled labour in the region within the growing renewable energy industry

A Socioeconomic Assessment of the proposed project found that the proposed project will generate more than $150 million in direct wages and profits, and more than $160 million in indirect wages and profits, per year of construction. Furthermore, during project operations, the project would be expected to generate around $25 million per year in direct and indirect economic benefit for the local region.

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