The Golden Plains wind farm project proposes the construction of 228 turbines on 16,739 hectares of land to the west, south and south-east of Rokewood township, about 60 kilometres north-west of Geelong.
As well as the turbines and their towers, the project would include foundations, overhead powerlines, underground cabling, electricity collection stations, a terminal station, a temporary quarry, access tracks and other associated works.
On Tuesday 23 October 2018, the Minister for Planning released his assessment under the Environment Effects Act 1978, which concludes the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process for this project. The assessment has been provided to statutory decision-makers to inform approval decisions on this project, including for the planning permit application.
An Inquiry and Panel was appointed to consider the EES, planning permit application and public submissions and inquire into the environmental effects of the proposal.
A Directions Hearing was held 6 July 2018. A joint Inquiry and Panel hearing was held from 30 July to 13 August 2018 and provided its report to the Minister for Planning on the 26 September 2018.
Exhibition of EES
The Environment Effects Statement (EES) for the Golden Plains Wind Farm project, together with a planning permit application, has been released for public comment for a period of 30 business days, from 4 May to 18 June 2018. It has now closed.
Further details on the public exhibition process are provided in the EES exhibition public notice (DOCX, 37.5 KB).
WestWind Energy has prepared a communication and consultation plan for the EES, outlining the opportunities and approaches for their community engagement during the preparation of the EES. The plan has been refined following advice from the department and Technical Reference Group and is published on this web page. The consultation process may be adapted or modified to meet changing community needs and requirements.
The Scoping Requirements set out the matters to be investigated and documented in the EES. Draft Scoping Requirements for this EES were on public exhibition between 13 October 2017 to 3 November 2017.
After considering public submissions on the Draft Scoping Requirements, the Minister for Planning issued Final Scoping Requirements in December 2017.
On 9 July 2017 the Minister for Planning determined that an Environment Effects Statement (EES) is required for the project due to the potential for significant effects:
The EES is also accredited under the bilateral agreement between the Australian and Victorian governments for the assessment purposes of the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act). The EES will need to address the matters of national environmental significance identified in the Commonwealth decision that the project is a ‘controlled action’ under the EPBC Act.