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From Councillor John Walker

Written by: Councillor John Walker

John Walker
John Walker

The debate on the reason for extreme weather events is continually brought to our attention, but one certainty that emerges from these discussions is for a change in government policy for a greater reliance on renewable generated energy into the future. This type of renewable power generation includes being from wind, solar and hydro generated turbines.

One such type of infrastructure is being built In the south east of the Hilltops Council area surrounding the village of Rye Park. The development of both the Rye Park Wind Farm and Bango Wind Farm has started and they plan to generate power to feed into the high voltage electricity network which bisects their areas.

Motorists travelling the Lachlan Valley Way between Boorowa and Yass would have observed the construction of a new road leaving east from the main road into paddocks at the shire boundary. This is the early construction phase of the Bango Wind Farm development. Construction of the Rye Park Windfarm on the eastern side of the village of Rye Park is planned to begin next year.

It is proposed that between the two wind farms there will be over 130 huge wind turbines up to 200 metres in height. These turbines will have a marked visual presence on the local landscape. The combined renewable energy input to the national grid from these two wind farms is significant and an indication of a way of the future as Australia moves away from fossil fuels for domestic energy generation. It becomes meaningful to know that the Hilltops region is contributing.

Having said that and as I am a Hilltops Council representative on the Community Consultative Committees for these two wind farms we continue to balance the natural environment of the drought conditions, the delicate soils on these hillsides and unique flora and fauna.

To the area comes hundreds of jobs during the construction phase and focussing on employing locals. We need to be assured that the communities most affected by the visual and environmental impacts of the wind farms for the nations benefit are compensated. To me it is eyes on upgrading infrastructure and facilities around Rye Park.

May we all enjoy our region together.
– Councillor John Walker

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