Below are "The Details" from the community email sent 16 November 2023


Winterbourne Wind VPA

(Voluntary Planning Agreement)

We have been told by the government bodies responsible for rolling out the Renewable Energy Zones, the renewable projects and the powerlines, that projects will not go ahead without “social license” or community support. (Despite them not being able to define “social license”). Walcha is already becoming known as a local area with strong community understanding, and resistance to these developments. We need to show the politicians that the Walcha Community will not support renewable projects that are poorly located, that are poorly sized or that have poor quality developers. If we do not have these projects, it will follow (if logic prevails) that we will not have transmission lines criss-crossing our LGA.

We are asking ALL Walcha residents who do not support oversized and poorly planned projects being imposed on our community to write a letter to the NSW Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Penny Sharpe and the Executive Director of EnergyCo Mike Young. We would also encourage you to copy in our state and federal members and any other contacts you would like to include.

Let the decision makers know your thoughts.

You are also free to contact the Department of Planning if you have concerns around the Winterbourne Wind Project. Best contact for this is ... >

Issues that residents may wish to include in their letters:

  • Should Walcha Energy be allowed to surround our town with wind turbines?

    Walcha Energy are attempting to concentrate ½ the renewable energy projects of the New England REZ around Walcha.

  • Is the Walcha Plateau an appropriate location for large scale wind farms?

    Access for these projects is planned to be the Oxley Hwy. The number of heavy vehicles as well as the transport of turbine blades and components is going to block the Oxley Hwy for many years. This will cripple other existing industries in our community as well as the ability of Walcha locals to move around our area. Click Here for more specifics.

  • The planned Winterbourne Wind Project and Ruby Hills Project are going to cause extensive environmental damage, impacting endangered species and critically endangered ecological communities, targeting ridgelines that have been (until now) strategically retained for protection from adverse weather, and act as important wildlife corridors. These projects should be in less sensitive locations.

  • Why are the powerlines being diverted from the more direct and existing route (from Qld, through Armidale and Tamworth down to the Hunter Valley). We have been told by Energy Co that the only reason the powerlines are being brought through the Walcha LGA is because of the projects being touted by developers. The powerlines are following proposed projects.

  • Consultation with the community has been woefully inadequate. We had many Walcha residents take the time to attend the EnergyCo Information sessions at the Walcha Bowling Club on 22nd June. Many questions were asked at these sessions and the consultants took contact details so these questions could be answered. None of our questions have been answered. Should the community be kept in the dark like this? This is not the community consultation that has been promised by the state government and EnergyCo. We deserve to know where the powerlines are going and why these routes have been chosen.

  • These renewable energy projects and the transmission infrastructure do not have social license. We are being told that these developments will not go ahead without social license but there is no definition of social license - still. Many letters and public questions have been met with waffle or silence. Surely lack of community support means there is no social license.

  • Support and encourage family, friends and neighbours.

We need to demonstrate that the majority of our community do not support these developments. We need as many letters as possible. It does not need to be a long letter – please take 10-20 minutes to do this.

Make sure our voice is heard.

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