Author: Erin Witmitz

Source: stawelltimes.com.au

MURRA Warra landowners are optimistic about the economic benefit a new wind farm will bring to the region.

RES Australia will start construction on the 116-turbine wind farm early this year after a consortium of businesses, including Telstra, signed on to the project and secured its future.

It will be the largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere.

Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke said parts of his property would be used for the farm.

“The news that the project had the green light was a little bit of a surprise – we thought there was still a bit more work to be done in planning for the whole project,” he said.

“However, it’s a good result for everyone involved.”

Mr Jochinke said nearby landowners were either positive about the project, or had remained neutral.

“I haven’t heard a lot of negativity,” he said.

“As landowners, if it all the construction runs on time, it won’t disturb our farm work too much.

“We would like to see it built as quickly as possible so we can get on with using the surrounding roads for what they are meant to be used for – agricultural practices and moving grain.”

Mr Jochinke said the wind farm would benefit the entire region.

“The landowners will directly benefit, but the project will also include a community fund, where money will be given to different groups,” he said.

“This will give a real kick to our area because we really have no other economic drivers besides agriculture.

“It will benefit the region greatly.”

Mr Jochinke said he was looking forward to the development.

“I think a lot of photos are going to be taken over the next 24 months as the project begins,” he said.

“It will definitely change my view of the landscape from the back door.”