Pictured: Corangamite Shire Mayor Neil Trotter and Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews break the ground for the Berrybank wind farm.
Mayor Neil Trotter also wielded a shovel at the 10 am ceremony, as did his Golden Plains Shire counterpart, Cr Owen Sharkey, Minister for Energy, Environment & Climate Change Lily D’ Ambrosio.
“On behalf of Council, I thank Premier Andrews and Minister D’Ambrosio for coming to Berrybank today,” Cr Trotter said.
“This is a significant development for the region, worth $259 million, and will have flow-on economic effects for Corangamite and Golden Plains Shires, including increased trade for local businesses.”
“The project came about, in part, through the State Government’s Victorian Renewable Energy Auction Scheme and Victorian Renewable Energy Targets.
“Also, the State Government and Global Power Generation (GPG) have a 15-year power purchase agreement which secures economic viability for this investment in the Berrybank district.
Cr Trotter welcomed the company’s commitment to the people of Corangamite through a $1.5 million commitment to support 15 projects.
“It’s great to see GPG demonstrating corporate citizenship and investing in the future of our Shires,” Cr Trotter said.
The company has made an in-principle commitment to support 15 projects between 2019 and 2021:
- Bradvale Hall upgrade
- Camperdown Botanic Gardens project
- Theatre Royal redevelopment
- Two energy efficiency pilot projects
- Darlington Hall upgrade
- Derrinallum Recreation Reserve changeroom upgrade
- Lismore swimming pool wet deck
- Glenormiston Hall upgrade
- Lismore Creek project
- Volcanic Lakes and Plains tourism project
- Two public art installations
- Skipton Recreation Reserve changeroom upgrade
- Terang lake redevelopment
In addition, Council and GPG are working to establish a Community Development Fund which will provide $48,000 a year for community groups.
From 2021, Council will call annually for grant applications from community groups.
A committee to oversee the grants will be formed and the criteria are yet to be decided.
Cr Trotter said Berrybank Wind Farm had set up a community engagement committee which held its first meeting in April.
“The committee provides a forum for regular, open discussion between the developer, the community, Corangamite and Golden Plains Shire Councils during construction and once the wind farm is operating,” Cr Trotter said.