THE proposed $600-million Nundle wind farm would reinvigorate the town and give it the money to upgrade its infrastructure, the project’s principal landholder says.
Jim Robinson, who is the largest of five landholders involved in the 98-turbine development, says the community investment fund that would come with the wind farm would greatly benefit Nundle’s next generation.
“I honestly believe there is nothing here for the kids,” Mr Robinson said.
“We need things that will attract young families to live and visit here, and to do that Nundle needs entertainment for young people.
“When families leave Nundle, we want the kids to say ‘when are we coming back?’ because they enjoyed the visit so much.”
It’s been suggested $200,000 would be invested into the community fund every year for the lifetime of the project.
NUNDLE WIND FARM STORIES
Mr Robinson has also indicated that he would be willing to donate money, if it was going towards recreational facilities, such as heating the swimming pool, constructing squash courts or upgrading the town hall.
“I have a vision for Nundle to build something similar to Green Valley Farm – something that attracts people all year round is a good way to go,” he said.
Yesterday, The Leader reported that many in the Nundle business community were concerned the “high visual impact” of the wind farm would drive away the 100,000 tourists that visit the town every year.
However, renewable experts pointed to several places that have seen an increase in tourism due to wind farms.
Mr Robinson suggested guided wind farm tours could be packaged with the nearby Nundle trout farm, while a walking trail along the top of his property was “not out of the question”.
Jamie Chivers, a spokesman for project developer Wind Energy Partners, said the company understood there would be a variety of views from those living within the town, and looked forward to discussing the opportunities the project would bring, along with how the community could participate in the planning process.
“We also plan on discussing how other projects in NSW have used the significant investment and increased economic activity in from renewable energy to improve their communities,” Mr Chivers said.
“These projects have proven to support rural communities in a variety of ways from additional income, more community events, jobs, bushfire prevention and increased visitor numbers.”
The development is expected to create 272 during construction and 34 ongoing jobs.
Wind Energy Partners will hold two community meetings this week – one at Nundle Memorial Hall on Thursday, and another at Hanging Rock community hall on Friday. Both start at 6.30pm.