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