Adjungbilly wind farm could be a cash kitty for community

A proposed wind farm at Adjungbilly could see the local council collecting a significant amount of money each year that will go towards transport asset maintenance and community purposes.

At Tuesday night’s ordinary meeting in Gundagai, councillors resolved to place a voluntary planning agreement and explanatory note between Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council and CWP Renewable on public exhibition for 28 days, seeking submissions on the proposed Jeremiah Wind Farm.

The voluntary planning agreement establishes the mechanism for collecting and distributing funds for a community enhancement program. 

Provided no objections are received at the end of the exhibition period, general manager  Phil McMurray and mayor Abb McAlister will sign off on the agreement.

The wind farm is proposed to consist of up to 65 wind turbine generators and associated infrastructure. It will be located at Adjungbilly, wholly within the Cootamundra-Gundagai Regional Council area.

The development application for the wind farm is State significant and will be determined by the Joint Regional Planning Panel.

Should the proposal be granted consent, the council can expect to receive $3500 per turbine constructed, per year.

“The process in order to distribute the fund that is collected, $3500 per turbine, per year, multiplied by up to 65 turbine, gives quite a significant cash kitty for community and road purposes,” Mr McMurray said.

“There’s a 30 per  cent/70 per cent split from roads to community-type infrastructure. The first two years of contributions must be spent at Adjungbilly or surrounds and then it can broaden, but there must always be given a high priority for projects in the Adjungbilly area.

“It’s a pretty good outcome.”

The general manager said the council will manage the process, generally, in accordance with the same way it manages the community grants program. 

“We will call for community submissions on what they might like to spend that money on and then as a council you will determine that and allocate budgets appropriately,” Mr McMurray said.

If any objections are received as a result of public exhibition, a further report will be presented to the council for consideration, including all submissions received during the exhibition period.

“Twenty-eight days gets us to the next council meeting date. If we have no objections, we will sign off on it, as is,” Mr McMurray said.

“If we do get submissions in, we may have to call an extraordinary meeting to be able to consider those submissions.

“We are very mindful that the council is going into caretaker mode as of November 4. We can’t just defer it to the November council meeting, in my opinion. So, we’ve put it in that if there’s no submissions, it’s a done deal. If there is, then we may have to hold an extraordinary meeting before November 4.”

Cr David Graham disclosed an interest and left the chambers before discussion.

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