Environment

At what price to the environment?
Loss of vegetation

Some community groups are stating that remnant native vegetation will not be removed. However, OSMI have stated that “Some native vegetation will be required to be removed as part of the widening of existing forestry tracks and intersections and for the underground cable routes, where alternatives don’t exist.”  OSMI website, accessed 1/07/2019.

Take the time to view the video on the home page to see how close Damp Forest and Herb-rich Foothill Forest ecological vegetation classes (EVCs) intersect and abut the Delburn site. Both are endangered EVCs

Although the proposed site is highly modified, it is interspersed with and bordered by remnant native vegetation. This vegetation provides refuges and corridors that are vital for wildlife, including known threatened species. Unfortunately, the completion of an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) is no longer a mandatory requirement in the planning process for wind farms. It is now at the discretion of the Minister for Planning, Richard Wynne, to determine if it is necessary.

Given the construction and the operation of the wind farm pose significant threats to wildlife, the Alliance calls on the Minister to insist that an EES be completed.

 
Photo location - McIntosh's Road, Boolarra
Threat to fauna

The threat to birds is well known – particularly raptors (eagles) and migratory birds) and bats. The threatened Powerful Owl has been sighted in 2018 in the adjacent forest (Victorian Biodiversity Atlas records).

Wind farms will most certainly add to the deaths of some of our most majestic birds of prey. The decline in raptor populations will only increase as the number of wind turbine farms spread across our state.

See the resources below for more details.

Construction

Based on Jacob’s preliminary traffic impact report (refer to OSMI website), 18-24 months of construction is proposed. Heavy and oversized loads will pass through the townships of Mirboo North, Yinnar, Driffield, Delburn, Trafalgar, Thorpdale, Yallourn, Churchill, Coalville, Hernes Oak, Narracan, Morwell and Boolarra

152,500 one-way trips will be required over 18 months through these townships. This includes heavy vehicles. We expect the impact of the 152,500 one-way traffic movements will be significant for these communities and wildlife.

Decommissioning

Decommissioning information – the below table was extracted from the below document:

No industrial machinery is truly green and clean

The investment of earth’s resources, time and money in industrial wind energy facilities is huge. Their operation is not without environmental, social and economic costs. The argument that these costs should be ignored because the costs of alternatives are greater is flawed. A failure to confront problems with technologies is a lost opportunity for progress.

The State Government of Victoria removed the mandatory requirement of an Environmental Effects Statement (EES) to encourage the development of wind farms. It is now at the discretion of the Minister for Planning to determine if an EES is required. Given that one was not required for the Alberton Wind Farm, which is located next to a Ramsar listed wetland, it is clear that wind farm development is prioritised over the protection of the environment.

Disclaimer: This video have been selected to simply highlight the impact the potential Delburn Wind Farm proposal had on the environment. SCA are not endorsing either the program or anyone who is sharing the video.

 “The reporting of bird deaths is not mandatory. Transparency is lacking and court action in the US has been necessary to access data on bird and bat deaths. Credible environmental organisations globally are calling for the appropriate siting of wind farms.”

The below links provide more information: 

TopicsLinks
How many turbines will you be able to see. Map prepared by OSMI and available on their website.
Note the colour coding key to identify approximately how many you will see from your home.
Click here for more info
Burrow, L. 2018. Wind farms cause more environmental impact than previously thought. SciTechDaily.Click here for more info
Movement of kangaroos during construction phase – impact.Click here for more info
Strzelecki Koala – major concernsClick here for more info
Wedge-tailed eagle deaths as a result of wind farms – 1Click here for more info
Wedge-tailed eagle deaths as a result of wind farms – 2Click here for more info
Wedge-tailed eagle deaths as a result of wind farms – 3Click here for more info
Wedge-tailed eagle deaths as a result of wind farms – 4Click here for more info

The above photos have been kindly provided by members of the Delburn, Yinnar, Darlimurla and Boolarra communities.