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Wind farm talks continue

THE company behind an $8 billion offshore wind farm in South Gippsland held a meeting in Port Albert recently, to discuss the project and its impacts on fishing.

The Star of the South wind farm proposed by Offshore Energy could see up to 250 wind turbines erected off the South Gippsland coast and create 300 jobs.

Port Franklin commercial fisherman Wayne Cripps, Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien and Offshore Energy managing director Andy Evans and chairman Terry Kallis were at the meeting.

Mr Evans said the purpose of the meeting was to gain feedback from the local community about the project.

“We have met with Danny O’Brien previously and, as the state representative for the project area, he is keen to ensure the views of the electorate he represents are heard,” he said.

“The project has been very well received so far in Australia and internationally.

“Most of the feedback is positive about creating economic and employment opportunities for the region and providing further energy generation options for Australia.”

Mr Evans said Offshore Energy had acknowledged more consultation was needed.

The feasibility study for the proposal is forecast to start late this year and would continue for at least three years.

“We are working with the fishing industry to determine the full extent of the impact and we will be working to ensure any impact will be as minimal as possible,” Mr Evans said.

“We have also already undertaken a detailed planning and environment risk review in 2015, which was recently updated, which shows there are no unmanageable risks, particularly given we will adopt a prudent avoidance philosophy. That means any major issues will be designed out of the project.”

Mr O’Brien said it was a positive meeting to enable the local fishing industry, himself and the proponents of the Star of the South offshore wind farm to better understand the issues.

“I certainly got some clarity on some key issues, but I believe the proponents also did with respect to fishing,” he said.

“This will be a positive project if it proceeds, but there is a long way to go yet and I look forward to further clarity being delivered over the coming years.”

Keep talking: from left, Gippsland South MLA Danny O’Brien, Offshore Energy chairman Terry Kallis, managing director Andy Evans and Port Franklin commercial fisherman Wayne Cripps met in Port Albert recently to discuss Offshore Energy’s off shore wind farm proposal.

Short URL: https://thestar.com.au/?p=21847

Posted by on Jul 11 2017. Filed under Featured, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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