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HERBERT PARK LOCAL AREA COMMITTEE NEW ENGLAND WIND NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM

WELCOME & ATTENDEES


Approximately 35 people attended the Neighbourhood Forum on 23 April 2012 at the Armidale Ex Services Club. Apologies were noted from Max & Susanne Hemesch, Sarah Butler, Helen Schwartz and Councillor Herman Beyersdorf. Special thanks were noted for Helen Schwartz's assistance in liaising with Herbert Park residents and the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage for sponsorship of the meeting venue and refreshments.

OPENING ADDRESS
Richard Maclean opened the Forum and welcomed everyone and thanked them for their interest in the community wind farm concept. He particularly pointed to there being a fair bit of support for the idea, though there were some concerns too, and tonight being an opportunity to work through these. Richard feels that we need to take a longterm view in considering the merits of this idea, and of renewable energy more generally. Work on New England Wind has been happening for around 2 years now, and the Woodville East ridge which spans three properties has been under consideration for many months now. Richard impressed that for this to work it will require a genuine working together between the Local Area Committee and New England Wind, and to be of genuine mutual benefit. A question was raised as to how key stakeholders had not been consulted regarding this development. It was explained that NEW has not yet begun any formal development application process and tonight's Forum is well ahead of any legislative requirements, reflecting the commitment to transparency and genuine community decision-making and benefits.

INTRODUCTIONS
Attendees introduced themselves and stated what they would like to learn from tonight's Forum, with responses being: General information (5) To get a sense of the community views on the proposal and their level of support (5)
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HERBERT PARK LOCAL AREA COMMITTEE NEW ENGLAND WIND NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM
Details of what the costs as well as benefits are (2) including Effect on properties who have line-of-sight to the turbines (3) Noise (2) Infrastructure requirements, such as power lines (2) Visual impact Impact on emergency air-strip, crop dusting Financial viability of the proposal (2) Details of what the community model is Ensure the development does not cause disharmony

Action NEW to investigate the possible constraints of the Woodville site on crop dusting, fertilising and air-traffic more generally and report back.

ABOUT WIND DEVELOPMENT


By Paul Cruickshank | Renewable Energy Precinct Coordinator | NSW Office of Environment & Heritage Refer separate copy of Paul's Slide Show and Presentation here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/91901830/PresentationOEH-HerbertParkLandholderMeeting

LANDHOLDER PERSPECTIVE
By Geoff Siems | Herbert Park Many wind farm developers were approaching the Siems going back 4 or 5 years, with Richard approaching Lorne and Geoff around 18 months ago regarding NEW. Geoff reflected on the negativity associated with some wind farm developments 'down south' and hence the interest in a community-model which is a more open process. It is Geoff's view that one key to success is ensuring that the benefits from a wind farm are shared more widely than the turbine landlords alone, and that for Lorne and himself this concept would only proceed if it held wide appeal throughout the Herbert Park area. The ridge line being considered is more than 2km from dwellings, including those of the three properties which make up the ridge (Richard, Geoff & Lorne, Tom & Anna Keys). From an agricultural perspective the ridge is currently used for light and intermediate grazing so the decline in productivity is perceived more than real.
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HERBERT PARK LOCAL AREA COMMITTEE NEW ENGLAND WIND NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM
Geoff reiterated that before signing any agreement it was key to know that the rest of the neighbourhood were supportive as well; and that he is happy with the district as it is so the community wind farm would need to enhance it further and make it more attractive for investment. At this point Tom Keys also spoke, adding that the community must be looked after in this process. At the same time the wind farm needed to be viable and of a size worthy of the effort. Something like 10-15 turbines seems likely. Richard also added that discussions had included Landcare and that the Woodville Ridge seemed to be a good location, one of the better ones in fact, with good wind and capacity in the nearby grid.

ABOUT NEW ENGLAND WIND


By Adam Blakester | Project Director Refer separate copy of Adam's Slide Show and Presentation here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/91901617/Presentation-Herbert-Park-Landholder-Meeting Refer also to the separate document Background Briefing circulated prior to the Forum.

OPEN FORUM QUESTIONS & DISCUSSION


An open discussion spanned what was appealing about the proposal, concerns and required actions moving forwards with key points being: Possible benefits for neighbourhood could be discounted electricity or straight financial return (such as for easements) Questions regarding grid connection. It was advised the two connection points being considered are the 66kV and 132kV. A Grid Connection Feasibility Study is required; fees are payable for easements; lines can be taken to the grid by different routes and underground Questions regarding noise. Point made that meeting the NSW Guideline (which is one of the most stringent in the world) can be met from as close as 750m, depending on topography (and there are no dwellings within 2km to the Woodville Ridge). The Rifle Range on Loch Abba was discussed stating that while the rifles range upwards of 106-130dB they are unheard even at Woodville. Turbine technology is developing and turbines today are significantly quieter than those of 10 or 20 years ago.

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HERBERT PARK LOCAL AREA COMMITTEE NEW ENGLAND WIND NEIGHBOURHOOD FORUM
Questions regarding the opportunity to invest and what scope there was to sell shares. Advised that some 2-3 years of work (proving the wind resource, development applications, permits, approvals etc.) is needed before being able to raise capital. A cooperative legal structure is proposed which is an unlisted stock. Registers of interest will be kept to facilitate share sales. Question raised regarding what happens if there is a change in landholder ownership. Question raised about impact on land values. Reference made to NSW Government research at: http://www.scribd.com/doc/61357163/ImpactOnLandValues-DoL Point expressed that turbines are an 'eyesore' Message reiterated that for this to proceed and succeed it was key that it was palatable to the wider community (ie. More than just the turbine host landholders).

INDICATION

OF

SUPPORT

A show of hands was sought seeking an indication of supportiveness to proceed, recognising that this Forum was at a very early stage of development and that further information would be sought in response to the matters raised. Approximately 90% of those attending raised their hands expressing support.

MEETING CLOSE

Adam Blakester Project Director | New England Wind & Executive Director | Starfish Enterprises 29 May 2012

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