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State Significant Development

Assessment

Hills of Gold Wind Farm

Tamworth Regional, Liverpool Plains Shire, Upper Hunter Shire

Current Status: More Information Required

Interact with the stages for their names

  1. SEARs
  2. Prepare EIS
  3. Exhibition
  4. Collate Submissions
  5. Response to Submissions
  6. Assessment
  7. Recommendation
  8. Determination

A wind farm and associated infrastructure located 50 km south-east of Tamworth and 8 km south of Nundle, comprising up to 70 wind turbines, battery storage and grid connection.

EPBC

This project is a controlled action under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and will be assessed under the bilateral agreement between the NSW and Commonwealth Governments, or an accredited assessment process. For more information, refer to the Department of Agriculture Water and the Environment's website.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

Notice of Exhibition

Request for SEARs (7)

Scoping Report
Appendix A - Site Photos
Appendix B - Preliminary Constraints Mapping
Appendix C - Indicative Layout
Appendix D & E - Community Consultation
Appendix F - Visual
Appendix G - Noise

SEARs (2)

SEARs
Supplementary SEARs

EIS (41)

Environmental Impact Statement
Appendix A SEARs
Appendix B CIV Report
Appendix C.1 Engagement Strategy
Appendix C.2 Engagement Register
Appendix C.3 Engagement Supporting Material
Appendix C.4 Community Enhancement Fund Charter
Appendix C.5 Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program
Appendix D BDAR
Appendix E.1 Noise and Vibration Assessment
Appendix E.2 Background Noise Monitoring
Appendix F Landscape and Visual Impact Assessment
Appendix F LVIA - App A
Appendix F LVIA - App B
Appendix F LVIA - App C
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 01
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 02-03
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 04-05-06
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 07-08
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 09-10
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 11-12-13
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 14-15-16
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 17-18-19
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 20-21-22
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 23-24-25-26
Appendix F LVIA App D PM 27-28
Appendix F LVIA App E Dwelling
Appendix F LVIA App F LCUOverviews
Appendix G Traffic and Transport Assessment
Appendix H Aviation Assessment
Appendix I EMI Assessment
Appendix K Blade Throw Assessment
Appendix L SEPP 33 Assessment
Appendix M Aboriginal Heritage Assessment
Appendix N.1 Historic Heritage Assessment
Appendix N.2 SoHI
Appendix O Soils and Water
Appendix P Socio Economic Assessment
Appendix Q Env Assessment Approach
Letter of Designation
Appendix J Bushfire Assessment

Response to Submissions (3)

Request for RTS letter.pdf
Submissions Report
Submissions Report Appendices

Amendments (23)

Amendment Report
Amendment Report App A Updated Project Description
Amendment Report App B Updated Land Title
Amendment Report App C Updated Mitigation and Mgt
Amendment Report App D Updated BDAR
Amendment Report App E Bio Offset Strategy
Amendment Report App F Noise Advice Letter
Amendment Report App G VLIA Addendum
Amendment Report App H Traffic Impact Addendum
Amendment Report App I Transport Route Assessment
Amendment Report App J Aviation Advice
Amendment Report App K Updated Bushfire
Amendment Report App L PHA
Amendment Report App M Indigenous Heritage Advice
Amendment Report App N Soil & Water Addendum
Amendment Report App O Preliminary Geophysics
Amendment Report App P.1 Devil's Elbow Engineering
Amendment Report App P.2 Devil's Elbow 3D Visuals
Amendment Report App P.3 MGR Designs
Amendment Report App P.4 Intersection Designs
Amendment Report App Q SoHI Addendum
Amendment Report App R Updated Socio-Economic
Amendment Report App S Statutory Compliance Table

Additional Information (5)

Request for Information (October 2021)
Request for Information (February 2022)
Response to RFI
Response to RFI - Appendix D Updated BDAR
Request for Information (March 2022)

Submissions

Filters
Showing 1 - 20 of 666 submissions
Ben Taylor
Object
CASULA , New South Wales
Message
The proposed wind farm will destroy The Hills of Gold. I believe underhanded tactics have been used by the proposer. Have these fools even seen the environment & ecosystem that they are going to destroy? I grew up in Nundle & still visit there regularly, this proposal must be STOPPED.
Lawrence Walker
Object
Nundle , New South Wales
Message
Nundle is a pristine environment and will be negatively impacted by the proposed wind farm. The environment will be permanently damaged by the building of required infrastructure. Local tourism will also be negatively affected. Local residents may have their health impacted severely
Name Withheld
Object
MUSCLE CREEK , New South Wales
Message
I don't understand why we are going to destroy the visual environment with wind turbines. Renewable energy is better our environment not destroy it.
Name Withheld
Object
ABERDEEN;NSW , New South Wales
Message
We are against turbines # 66. 67. 68. 69 and 70. The location of the Turbines mentioned, are sitting on spring fed gullies that supply the Barnard River. Which currently contain threatened/ endangered “spiny freshwater crayfish” (Euastacus Gamilaroi) and are not found anywhere else.
Any runoff from either construction OR catastrophic failure will have dire consequences for what is already a very rare species of Crayfish.
http://tolweb.org/Euastacus_gamilaroi/7919
Volunteer organisation PTSD Care
Object
Hanging Rock , New South Wales
Message
We are against turbines # 66. 67. 68. 69 and 70.
Our residence is occupied 90% of the time as a mental health refuge for some of our returned service personnel that suffer from PTSD. We allow them to use our place free of charge as a mental health reset which has stopped several potential veteran suicides. Flashing lights and the sound of blades cutting the air will counter this good work.
Anne Flanagan
Object
Nundle , New South Wales
Message
Hello, as a new resident to Nundle, (approx 4 years)
I would like to say that my objection is a bit selfish, but also agree with the objections put forward by other residents in the community. We brought our block because we love the night sky’s , serenity , and the gorgeous views of the hills of gold. As we drive down Lindsey Gap Road and glimpse those hills we know we are home. The thought of seeing the turbines, and the flashing red nights in the night sky breaks my heart. I am not anti wind farm as I have visited a few my self , just wrong place here in Nundle .
Name Withheld
Object
WOOLOMIN , New South Wales
Message
There has been significant land clearing done on hundreds of acres of old growth prior to this project being announced publicly in order to get approval. The windfarm serves no benefit to the community. It will be detrimental to the native bird life and water supply, we are currently on water restrictions in nundle and they will be using a massive amount town water for the project. We are still drought effected.
Paul Elbourne
Object
NUNDLE , New South Wales
Message
Offset & Mitigate
We in Nundle live here because we love our unique mountain beauty, the flora and fauna, the town and it’s people. We chose to live here because of it.
Our business owners also live and work here for this reason. It is the unique beauty and serenity of our town that keeps us here and attracts tourists to also enjoy this magnificent beauty and scenery and to patronise our businesses. These businesses also attract the tourists. This all keeps the town alive and why we all live here.
But now we have “Offset and Mitigate”. This is where developers now want to destroy the unique beauty of our location and take it away from us and place it a hundred kilometers away so we can never see and enjoy it again. They want to replace this beauty with an industrial wind farm we don’t want or need and replace it with a ‘Community Fund” we also don’t want or need. None of us are here for a ‘Community Fund”. This wind farm will not bring tourists to our town. It will drive them away. Especially during the massive construction phase. Tourist and caravaners will stop coming due to the huge delays as thews blades and towers are transported to the location. Once word of mouth spreads at warp speed the tourists will disappear. It will take years and year to get them back The business community in Nundle can’t afford the costs of national adverting to get them back. This so called development will destroy thethis town and why we live here.
We are quite happy to volunteer and work to do various events to raise funds for our community projects. We get a sense of achievement and self worth in doing this work to achieve our goals. And we do very well in this small community in achieving those goals. This is what “Community” is about. It is not about a fund in the form of a bribe to compensate us for the loss of our unique beauty and life style. What we have here in Nundle and Hanging Rock is priceless. You can never afford to buy it. Not everything in life is about money. This community is not for sale.
You can go shove ‘Offset and Mitigate”. Go away and offset and mitigate this Wind farm somewhere else.
Name Withheld
Support
JANNALI , New South Wales
Message
Renewable Energy is paving the way for a more sustainable future and it is projects like this that allow humanity to progress forward
Name Withheld
Support
BEXLEY , New South Wales
Message
This growth of this wind farm will definitely contribute to making Australia's energy clean and sustainable.
Name Withheld
Support
PETERSHAM , New South Wales
Message
I think the project is fantastic and will be a great step forwards in displacing fossil fuels from the energy system. I believe the project is well designed, stacks up economically and will perform technically. It's location will be ideal to support the NEM when Liddell closes, and to complement the Central West Orana and New England REZs. It will bring additional income for landowners and jobs to the region during construction and several during operation. I would love to see the Hills of Gold windfarm go ahead.
Megan Trousdale
Object
NUNDLE , New South Wales
Message
The outlook to the Great Dividing Range east and south of our property are extraordinarily significant to the enjoyment of our house and land.
Before we moved to Nundle 21 years ago, we would visit from Sydney. The first glimpse of the range when travelling east towards Nundle was always exciting, creating a sense of anticipation for nearly arriving at our destination.
It was definitely a major drawcard for choosing to move to Nundle.
The dramatic difference in elevation of 600-800m from the valley to the range is impressive. The vastness of the range is a humbling reminder of the beauty of nature.
Again, I stress the importance of the views of the mountain ranges to the east and south in choosing to purchase our property. It is the significant difference in elevation from the valley to the range that increases the visual impact of this wind turbine proposal and the distance from which people are potentially impacted.
Living in this environment for more than two decades has given our family a strong sense of place. We observe the range in all seasons looking forward to spectacular pink sunsets, a cooling easterly blowing through low lying cloud spilling over the mountain, and even snow-capped hills several times a year. The Hanging Rock outcrop and Yellow Rock are dramatic natural features in the landscape.
Our life is very much oriented towards the range.
We enjoy the sight of the range as we reach our property boundary on Crawney Rd and pull into our driveway, slowing towards the house.
It is an outlook that we appreciate while moving around the property, checking the health of sheep, the level of the dam, attending to our bore, and water pump, working and walking our dogs, gardening, and hanging out washing.
In summer we enjoy reading and relaxing in the garden looking towards the mountain east of the house. It is where we eat outside with friends and family.
The range is also stunning to look at from two bedrooms located on the eastern side of the house. It is a simple pleasure to have a cup of tea and read in bed of a morning, with a vista of the range out the window. It is an unacceptable prospect that the proposed wind farm would intrude on this most personal space.
We have house renovation plans that include a new dining and sitting room, and deck on the northern side of the house that take in the view of the range. Two bedrooms will remain positioned on the eastern side of the house with views of the range.
We put this build on hold for 18 months while we waited for a determination on the proposed wind turbines. Now we are contemplating going ahead again, realising that we have two decades of friendships in this valley that we could not replace.
The combination of high scenic beauty, usually reliable 900mm annual rainfall, arable country, and comparably low-cost real estate is a unique combination at Nundle. We would not be able to achieve like for like for our modest house and eight acres if we were forced to relocate by the visual impact of the wind turbines. It would even be impossible to achieve like for like within Nundle because the real estate options are so limited and small acreage is near impossible to buy.
We are concerned that wind turbines on the range would reduce the demand for our house and land should we ever sell, consequently lowering the market price. The economic impact on those who might wish to subdivide would be even greater not only by reducing the value of the land by spoiling the view but by limiting their market.
We enjoy the dark night skies from our house and land, and have a telescope for star gazing with our children. We do not want the dark skies destroyed by aviation night lighting on turbines on the range. How inappropriate for our rural landscape where we have chosen to retreat from more developed locations.
We use photography from our property for the promotion of our business Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores, telling the back story about the picturesque landscape that we live in, growing our own fruit, vegetables, lamb and wool, and cooking from scratch.
The range is often featured in our photographs which I upload to our Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores Facebook and Instagram pages, and feature in our monthly electronic newsletter. They have also been published in magazines. These images are a major tool in helping to attract visitors to Nundle via Nundle NSW social media and printed material to support our business, and other businesses in Nundle. My photography has been reposted by Destination Tamworth, Visit Rural and Regional Australia, Our Regional NSW, Tamworth Chamber of Commerce, Country Style, and Downtown Magazine.
As a journalist the landscape is a peaceful, beautiful setting in which to live and work. The range is an integral part of the creative process, inspiring photography and writing.
We appreciate the plant and animal life of the range, its vegetation creating a biodiversity corridor linking Wallabadah, and Crawney Pass National Parks, Ben Halls Gap and Tomalla Nature Reserves. It is disturbing to contemplate the potential disruption to 13 critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable plants and animal species "likely present and significantly impacted" in the proposed project area, and 24 species potentially impacted by transporting components to the proposed site. Having witnessed bushfire burning in three locations around Nundle last summer, and three past years of drought stressing plant and animal life, it is more important than ever to preserve remnant native vegetation and native animal populations.
We are concerned about the potential visual impact of wind turbines and transmission lines proposed south of our property. We have a particular fondness for Crawney Pass National Park, Teamsters Rest, The Dag Sheep Station, and friends' properties in that area.
It is unacceptable to contemplate wind turbines on the range that we look at and appreciate every day. It will significantly reduce our enjoyment of arriving home, working and walking in our paddocks, as well as our neighbours’ paddocks and on Crawney Road, and relaxing in our house.
It is disturbing to our children that their experience of our home and its surrounds may be impacted by wind turbines on the range. We moved to Nundle when our daughter Isabelle was five and she enjoys visiting home for the open space, tranquillity, and stillness. Our boys have lived in Nundle all their lives, and do not want the outlook they live with changed by wind turbines.
We chose to live in a rural landscape without wind turbines and the wind turbine proposal is offensive, industrialising this semi wild landscape. We want to be “in the middle of nowhere” not reminded of developed civilisation every time we look at the range. We want to see Nundle’s distinctiveness preserved.
We go to a lot of effort to conserve energy, reduce our carbon footprint and apply permaculture principles.
It would be unbearable to witness the clearing of native vegetation for transporting components, increased traffic to the proposed project area, and physical alteration of the range during construction of hard stands, foundations, roads, and turbines. The movement of the turbines, where there is now stillness, would be annoying and destroy the peace we have.
We would be impacted not only from our properties, but as we move around from Nundle Rd to Nundle, Hanging Rock, Crawney and Timor.
The large scale of the industrialised turbines is inappropriate for the small scale of Nundle and its intimacy.
It has created stress, concern, and anxiety in our family from the time we were first exposed to it on February 7th 2018. What a waste of time dedicating hundreds of hours to reading about potential impacts and writing to all levels of government for assistance.
Wind turbines do not need to be built at Nundle in the middle of a biodiversity corridor, a fragile catchment area, and on top of a range that continues to attract significant numbers of tourists each year when there are many other wind farms without the significant impact of this one. A wind farm just over an hour away at Scone has not been built 10 years after approval. Significantly larger wind farms have been approved or are in the pipeline at Coolah (960MW Liverpool Range Wind Farm, 800MW Valley of the Winds Wind Farm) and Walcha (700MW Winterbourne Wind Farm). This week 265MW was approved as part of Tamworth Solar Farm and Bonshaw Solar Farm, each with one objection. Proposed nearby 500MW Middlebrook Wind Farm has attracted no controversy.
The prospect of a Neighbour Benefit Sharing Fund and Community Enhancement Fund in no way compensates us for loss of visual amenity, peace, stillness, and absence of dominating large-scale industrial structures in an intimate landscape. The projects proposed to be funded by the CEF are inappropriate, potentially misleading, and add to the embedded energy already part of the proposal‘s carbon footprint. The proposed 31 ongoing jobs appear to be overstated compared to other approved or proposed 70 turbine wind farms that state 8 to 10 full time jobs; another has 15 jobs. It is disappointing that the proponent has changed its script from promising Nundle and Hanging Rock local jobs, to ongoing jobs within a one-hour commute.
A photomontage for our property was provided without interpretation and without details outlined in the Scottish Natural Heritage Visual Representation of Wind Farms, Version 2.2 February 2017 (Camera and make/Lens/Focal length/Date and time of photograph/Turbine numbers for cross referencing with turbine layout/Wire frame lines). We were not provided with an A2 print or given information about how the photomontages should be viewed. i.e paper size and distance from body.
We do not support the wind turbine proposal and there is no way the proponent can mitigate, offset, or compensate us. The impacts on our family would be real, many and profound.
Yours sincerely,
Megan Trousdale
Attachments
Wendy Nathan
Object
KORORA , New South Wales
Message
I lived in and around the Dungowan valley / Nundle area for 16 years. I oppose this project. I am very concerned about the environmental impact of the construction, and particularly the potential disruption to this very important water catchment area. Major construction of this kind, together with the associated access to the area will also have a deleterious effect on this very important ecosystem. This project is not supported by the majority of people living in this area. I support the establishment of wind power and the use of renewable energy, but this is not the right location.
Fabian Norrie
Support
NUNDLE , New South Wales
Message
I support the Hills of Gold Wind Farm and wind energy in general. I have been to half a dozen and more wind farms making hobby videos for the future and uploading them on youtube for the younger generations. The wind farm will be good for Nundle as it should provide jobs for the local towns.
Name Withheld
Support
NUNDLE , New South Wales
Message
Looking forward to the clean energy to be provided by the Hills of Gold Wind Farm.
Russell Kindler
Support
BEECROFT , New South Wales
Message
A well rounded project that has consulted with the local community and will deliver more renewable energy to NSW!
Debbie Taylor
Object
BANORA POINT , New South Wales
Message
I have been visiting the beautiful town of Nundle for over thirty years. The reasons I keep coming back are firstly, it is Gamilaraay country, it is my homeland. Recently my family held ceremony in the hills of Nundle, on a site that would be severely impacted by the construction, maintainence and disposal of the wind farm. Secondly, we visit because of the pristine nature of the country. Tourists don't come to Nundle for "tourist attractions". They come because of the natural beauty of the area. Build your attractions...if that what you want to call a wind farm, on land that is already deforested. Go build it on the rolling plains to the west of Nundle. Stop cutting down more forests. Just because it isn't tabled as National park, does not mean that the natural environment is less precious or deserving of protection. In fact, given the extensive deforestation that has taken place in the Liverpool Plains region over the past 210 years of colonial farming practice, we must maintain what ever forests remains. This project will go hand in hand with more destruction of the environment. I'm not against wind power as a renewable source of energy, but I am against destroying the environment to do so. And I am against rewarding those individuals who willfully (and illegally) destroy the environment to achieve their own financial goals.
Garry Smith
Object
BELMONT , New South Wales
Message
The Hills of Gold Wind Farm
I am totally against this project in the location proposed for the following reason.
The destruction of trees and native vegetation on these hills to install wind turbines is counter productive. All the native vegetation and in particular the mature trees are taking Carbon Dioxide from the air and putting back Oxygen. Thus reducing green house gasses.
So find another location without trees and vegetation to put the wind turbines - don't destroy trees with the justification that wind turbines are producing clean energy - On the 'Hills of Gold' they are destroying clean energy.
Also the bat study is totally incomplete. As a member of the Newcastle and Hunter Valley Speleological Society, I was asked where bats are located in the area. None of these rousting sights were properly (if at all) investigated nor the range over which bats feed at night. The wind farm will significantly affect the feeding areas of the micro bats and could certainly kill any bats which fly within the zone of the spinning wind turbine blades.
I object to the location of this wind farm.
Regards
Garry Smith
Colin Cummins
Object
NUNDLE , New South Wales
Message
See Attachment
Attachments
Sandra Byrne
Support
NUNDLE , New South Wales
Message
I support the wind farm development, it would be great to see some progress in the area and some growth in the town. It will be great for the younger generations to be involved in. It will help with the growth of the school and the preschool, the medical centre and the small business as well.

Pagination

Project Details

Application Number
SSD-9679
EPBC ID Number
2019/8535
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Electricity Generation - Wind
Local Government Areas
Tamworth Regional, Liverpool Plains Shire, Upper Hunter Shire

Contact Planner

Name
Anthony Ko