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State Significant Development


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.


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 (2)

Notice of Exhibition (Nov 2022)
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)

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 (17)

Request for RTS letter (Feb 2021).pdf
Submissions Report (Dec 2021)
Submissions Report Appendices (Dec 2021)
Request RTS Letter (Dec 2022)
Submissions Report (March 2023)
Submissions Report (March 2023) APP A Updated Project Description
Submissions Report (March 2023) APP B Mitigation and Measures
Submissions Report (March 2023) APP C Traffic and Transport
Submissions Report (March 2023) APP D ARDG Response to DPE Water
Submissions Report (March 2023) APP E Biosis Technical Note
Submissions Report (March 2023) Appendix F.1 Updated BDAR
Submissions Report (March 2023) Appendix F.2 Updated BDAR
Submissions Report (March 2023) Appendix F.3 Updated BDAR
Submissions Report (March 2023) Appendix F.4 Updated BDAR
Submissions Report (March 2023) Appendix F.5 Updated BDAR
Submissions Report (March 2023) Appendix F.6 Updated BDAR
Submissions Report (March 2023) APP G Submissions Register

Amendments (51)

Amendment Acceptance Letter (Nov 2022)
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) Main Volume
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP A Updated Project Description
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP B Updated Land Title
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP C Updated Mitigation Measures
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP D Updated Statutory Compliance
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP E.1 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP E.2 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP E.3 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP E.4 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP E.5 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP E.6 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP F Noise and Vibration Assessment
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP G LVIA Addendum
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP H Traffic and Transport Assessment
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP I Route Study
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP J Aviation Addendum
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP K Flame Length Calculations
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP L Aboriginal Cultural Heritage
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP M SoHI - Peel Inn
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP N Historic Heritage Assessment
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP O Historic Heritage Assessment
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP P Air Quality and GHG
Amendment Report (Nov 2022) APP Q Optional Verden Rd Quarry Exp
Amended Instrument of Designation (Nov 2022)
Request to Amend a DA(Jan 2022)
Amendment Acceptance Letter (Jan 2022)
Amendment Report (Jan 2022)
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App A Updated Project
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App B Updated Land Title
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App C Updated Mitigation & Mgt
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App D.1 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App D.2 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App D.3 Updated BDAR
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App E Bio Offset Strategy
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App F Noise Advice Letter
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App H Traffic Impact Addendum
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App I Transport Route Assessment
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App J Aviation Advice
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App K Updated Bushfire
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App L PHA
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App M Indigenous Heritage Advice
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App N Soil & Water Addendum
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App O Preliminary Geophysics
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App P.1 Devils Elbow Engineering
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App P.2 Devils Elbow 3D Visuals
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App P.3 MGR Designs
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App P.4 Intersection Designs
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App Q SoHI Addendum
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App R Updated Socio-Economic
Amendment Report (Jan 2022) App S Statutory Compliance Table

Additional Information (6)

Request for Information (March 2023)
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)


Showing 61 - 80 of 1122 submissions
Name Withheld
HUNTERVIEW , New South Wales
I support the hills of gold wind farm as it is better for the environment. Also giving my parents an extra income for there property in the times of drought to buy feed for cattle etc. It will bring and keep people in jobs to the towns of hanging rock and Nundle with people spending money on food fuel accommodation at the local stores and not to mention the great Nundle pub. Growing up in Nundle there wasn't much to do for kids other then the park and swimming pool which the funds from the wind farm could heat the pool to use all year round and to be spent on other recreational activities. Having the wind farm up on the hills wont change the ambience of Hanging Rock or Nundle.
Name Withheld
WATTLE PONDS , New South Wales
I support the wind farm i think its a great idea for the environment and for the towns of Hanging Rock and Nundle
Name Withheld
HORSHAM , Victoria
I support the Hills Of Gold Wind Farm because of the increasing cost of using electricity in Australia with the current primary power stations being fueled by fossil fuels. Around Australia we are seeing more and more of wind generating turbines and solar farms i believe this to be more sustainable for Australia both for the economy and the environment into the future.
Warren Trevor
STEWARTS BROOK , New South Wales
I strongly support this project on the following grounds:-
1. Australia has an abundance of wind and sunshine, that if suitable projects are placed appropriately and managed responsibly, can supply our power needs well into the future.
2. Existing coal fired Power Stations, such as Liddell (due for closure in 2022) and Bayswater (approx 2035) need to be replaced with environmentally friendly and sustainable alternatives such as this, in combination with other existing and proposed solar/wind projects.
3. This project has the strong support of those most affected, namely a large number of surrounding and adjoining neighbours.(Admittedly, benefiting financially)
4. The project fits in beautifully with the existing rural usage of these properties, which is primarily cattle production.
5. The project is extremely well located along a mountain ridgeline away from town and is close to the existing 330kv power transmission line from Liddell to Tamworth.
6. Despite some very vocal and negative outlooks from a small segment of the Nundle area community, there are such considerable long term financial. tourist and social facility benefits for the whole area that could be realized if the project proceeds.
6. Nundle is stagnant, with a declining school population that will, in time, lead to loss of teaching staff and possible school closure. The area (like so many rural communities) needs a long term shot in the arm. Employment is stagnant, with timber mills and Council facilities having been curtailed and reduced in recent years. The local population is ageing, with no facilities such as aged care and retirement homes to cater for the needs of the ageing population.
7. The project is NOT on the doorstep of the local town. The nearest turbine will be approx 8km away and will be visible from some rural areas but still in the distance. Ironically, there is a much sought after rural subdivision with many new and expensive homes built at a place called Muscle Creek, just south of Muswellbrook and yes , only 8km from Liddell and Bayswater Power Stations. These residents seem happy enough, even though they must suffer from a polluted atmosphere caused by emissions from these power stations. The smoke pall can be clearly seem on most days in the area. I know, as I work at Muswellbrook and have done for 18 years.
8. Sure, there will be challenges to be faced getting plant, materials and personnel to site via local roads. Just as there were challenges when Chaffey Dam, (not far from Nundle) was constructed and upgraded. But the community benefitted from the increased traffic and workers that stayed in the area while construction was undertaken. This project will still retain a number of personnel who will all live and settle locally and will support local businesses and schools.
9. The project itself, I am sure will boost and provide an additional major tourist attraction for the area, drawing people from far and wide who will stay and support the local economy.
10. The benefits of this project proceeding,not only support Nundle/Hanging Rock in so many ways, but also the surrounding areas such as Tamworth, Quirindi, Willow Tree, etc. Materials and labour will flow from these areas into the Nundle area.
11. The very negative and untrue remarks made by people from Sydney and elswehere, eg 2GB radio, Sky News, etc, are just as a result of being fed nonsense and not fact by those who oppose any form of change. Many people have made comments without either ever visiting the area or visiting the area once (Eg, Ben Fordham - Radio 2GB)
These people are in the main, not long term residents having grown up in the Nundle/Hanging Rock area. When they get older, they will return to Sydney or the coast where they came from, leaving no legacy for the local area
12. In conclusion, I have read the environmental, heritage and all of the items in the government submission and I find that the important aspects of the project appear to have been very carefully covered. I strongly support the project being approved.
Name Withheld
WILLOW VALE , New South Wales
I strongly object to this project because it will cause enormous intrusion, disruption and heavy traffic to local people who chose to live in a quiet rural area. It is insanity to destroy prime agricultural land for these activities, purely for short-term dollars. It makes no sense to wreck our pristine countryside to fill the pockets of greedy investors who are not interested in the destruction caused to the environment and to the native flora and fauna. The number of trees being chopped down, and the killing of native animals and their habitat is enormous and alarming. Who will pay for the removal of these monstrous behemoths when they are no longer of any use because they will NEVER recover the fossil fuel energy it takes to make them. So the whole project is a waste and causes more carbon emissions than it will save.
Cheryl-Anne Hill
HANGING ROCK , New South Wales
I am happy to support the project as I do agree to clean energy as opposed to coal produced energy. On the ridge where we live, there are strong winds which prevail and I do feel it is an excellent site. I was concerned about electro-magnetic energy affecting our health but was assured that as we are just on the outside aspect of the three kilometre zone, it would not affect us adversely. We also discussed having the road sealed as some properties are very close to the gravel road and the increased traffic would create discomfort for those residents. We also have discussed the proposal to increase/improve communications in the area as we are on satelite internet, which is limited and costly. So a tower to connect to the Nundle line would improve communications greatly for all Hanging Rock residents and the wind farm requirements in general. I am to believe that these requests are on the table.
Another possibility is reduced electricity costs or solar panels provided to everyone in the area.
Name Withheld
ANNANDALE , New South Wales
I have been a regular visitor to Nundle and the surrounding areas for almost 15 years. The unique scenery and landscape of this part of the New England is one the main reasons that I return to the area year after year.
Whilst I support renewable energy options, I am very concerned about the impact of the Hills of Gold Wind Farm DA/EIS on the natural scenery and landscape of Nundle and the surrounds. The wind farm as currently proposed would have a significant (and in my view, negative) impact on the natural landscape of this part of NSW.
Brett Miller
MARTINS CREEK , New South Wales
In regards to the proposed wind farm "Hills of Gold" project, we as a family are very confused that a supposable environmentally friendly project will ultimately cause irreversible damage to one of the most pristine areas of the Australian wilderness, in addition its effects on wildlife habitats, surrounding water catchments & additional wear & tear on the access roads.
We have experienced these similar projects when living in other parts of the country eg Western Australia & central New South Wales, the negatives of these farms very much outweigh the positives especially when wildlife & the bushland are affected. The minimal amount of power that is produced for the damage created is a joke, the power & energy required to produce, transport & maintain these wind farms is enormous. From our first hand knowledge these wind turbines only spin 50% of the time, either due to no wind or the wind is to strong, also when these turbines do turn the noise becomes very disturbing particularly at night.
We are not against renewable power but not to the detriment to the existing environment, wildlife & people.
We believe this project would be a backward step & irresponsible.
Brett Miller & Family
Name Withheld
WILLOW VALE , New South Wales
I strongly object to the monstrous eyesores being proposed on the hills of gold because they will completely destroy the scenic beauty and environment and habitat of local native birds and animals. How many trees will be chopped down to make way for this wind farm that will never generate enough energy that it took to manufacture the wind turbines. It's a total destructive waste and should not go ahead. The only benefactors are the investors who are receiving money in subsidies.
William Van Egmond-Jones
NEWTOWN , New South Wales
I think wind power is the future of energy generation in Australia should be implemented everywhere
Eve Campese
WOOLOMIN , New South Wales
I've worked in Nundle for 25 years. My children have gone to school, pre-school, swim club and using the gym when it was open with friends everywhere in the village. I feel I have a personal connection with Nundle and would like to see Nundle prosper with the jobs that pay award wages, plenty of hours and permanent. We should not be afraid of the change. Wind energy, cheap, reliable, with less damage to our state when you compare it to coal . The old power stations in Muswellbrook are at their use by date and I would like to see this major project near Hanging Rock to replace coal power stations.
rory O'callaghan
NUNDLE , New South Wales
I'd like to see the project go ahead because I see a future in cleaner and renewable energy. I would also like my kids to be a part of a better future. I think it will bring tourists to the town to see the wind farm. My kids could have a future of work in renewable energy as well. It would be great to bring more money into the community for things we don't have now that we could get.
Name Withheld
Nundle , New South Wales
Dear Sir/Madam

I'm a resident in Hanging Rock and have lived here since 2012, having moved from Coolah. I have lived in Europe and grew up with turbines. They are a peaceful addition to the landscape and have a calming affect.

We understand projects like this and in particular bring jobs for the future and clean energy which in NSW we need. Australia is more exposed to climate change as evidence by recent droughts and fires. Other countries are doing their bit and have been for a long time. This is a technology and a project that has acceptable impacts for the benefits it brings communities like mine in Nundle and Hanging Rock.

We think tourists will continue to see the beauty in the area and the existing attractions that wont be affected by the wind farm. If anything we expect that this will be an additional point of interest for people to learn about and there may be more tourists visit the area as a result.

We already follow trucks associated with forestry and understand the impacts of this project to us. These are acceptable.

Someva has consulted us about the project and we feel informed.

Thank you for the opportunity and your time in reading my support.
Meg Worley
NUNDLE , New South Wales
I write as a resident and young adult living in Nundle. My family have deep connection to the land through our songlines. As a young Kamilaroi woman I am devastated by this proposal and how it will industrialise and change my traditional landscape. There has been no consultation with me at all, and the consultation with my father Robert Worley, who owns a property less than 2 kms from the development has been nearly zero. We plan to build our future house on our traditional lands that we own. The DA has been approved and the building started. WEP were made aware of this by my Uncle but we have had only 1 discussion with WEP/Someva in relation to this. They just told us that this is what is happening with no regard for our concerns. In fact, they told us to do nothing as it would be going ahead and it would make no difference. This was told to us by Aref.
I object to this windfarm as 6 turbines fall within less than 2 km of our new dwelling. They should not be there.
I object to this proposal as it will forever decimate my traditional lands and industrialise it so I can no longer enjoy the connection with the land that my ancestors had.
I object to this proposal due to the massive number of traffic movements that will occur throughout the construction period and the danger they will put all people in. The transport study does not tell the entire truth nor include all factors. The bus times are wrong, they have limited the logging truck movements for the study-there are many more.
I object to this proposal as the Aboriginal Heritage Study was done during the period of Covid. An ad was placed in one newspaper for a once off asking people to apply to take part in the study. Many people missed this and were not able to take part. There are traditional people living well beyond the local area who return regularly. They had no opportunity for input. This is unfair and unethical.
Nundle is not a town that should have to be burdened with a second renewable project. The area already hosts a pine plantation which has again decimated the native environment. This development will further impact the native flora and fauna in a very fragile area. Th Pine Forest is substantial and its logging is changing our landscape.
Bob Worley
Nundle , New South Wales
I write in objection to the Hills of Gold Windfarm proposal. I am a long time resident of over 40 years and property owner in Nundle. This proposal, if approved will destroy my livelihood and the future for my current dwelling.
I have an approved DA and have started to build my residence. WEP were made very much aware of this. My residence is less than 2 km from the turbines. There are around 17 turbines that will impact significantly on my residence. The visual montage only shows a small portion of the area containing turbines. The cumulative effect of these turbines in such close proximity is going. It will destroy the visual amenity of my property and it will destroy the capacity for me to conduct my primary production business.
The visual impact of the turbines will significantly reduce the value of my land. The land on which I am building is a 600 acre block of land. I currently use it for primary production purposes. The spreading of fertilizers by aerial means is going to be completed restricted to impossible. The aviation study does not make any allowance for this nor offer solutions outside of making operators aware. This will significantly reduce the ability of the land to be productive and therefore reduce my ability to produce an income.
The major amount of illegal land clearing by the major landholder has already significantly impact on the flow of water to my property. This illegal clearing has caused major disputes between the majority land owner and his neighbours. Further clearing and disturbance of the flora and the soils in this Class 8 area as defined by the Office of Environment and Heritage will add to the already major impacts which I have suffered. The entirety of the development area is designated as Class 8 soil types. This means it should not be disturbed at all and should only be used for conservation areas. The entirety of the area cleared already and illegal to make way for this proposal should be rehabilitated. Had it not been illegal cleared, there would never have been permission given to devastated the environment in such a manner as has been done.
The proponent handed me a neighbour agreement which was full of mistakes. They have not been back to me with another. The proponent told me to do nothing (Aref) as the development would go ahead. The proponent has not at any stage negotiated the situating of the turbines with me. The proponent has not discussed with me the pecuniary impact on my primary production business and how this may be mitigated.
The biodiversity study was done over the years of the worst drought on record. It does not give a true representation of the reality. The water flow from the area has not been adequately observed. It feeds Nundle Creek which flows through my property and is my water source(already impacted by illegal clearing mentioned above). The proponent completely disregarded my concerns in relation to the interference with the water flow and said that it would all be ok.
I object to the major traffic congestion that will occur in a small village that can not already handle major traffic. The roads are unsafe and the transport study shows that there is no way for emergency vehicles to reach certain parts of the area if there is a major component being transported. The proponent suggests putting up a sign. This will not allow and emergency vehicle to pass, it will simply tell it it can't.
As a long term resident and land owner, I have seen the wanton destruction of the native flora and fauna by the major land holder. I have seen wedgetailed eagle nests pushed over as he has illegally cleared land for this development. (I have photos). I have seen wombat habitat destroyed with bulldozers and seen wombats chased down and killed so they can be removed from the area.
As an Aboriginal man. I also object to the industrialisation of my traditional lands. I live here to be connected with my land and I am on it every day. It is my home and work pace. I should not have to live with a major industrial development diminishing my enjoyment and traditional connection. I did not have an opportunity to contribute to the Aboriginal Heritage study as I did not even know it was being done. I know a number of Aboriginal people who return to the area as part of their connection to country. They also did not have the opportunity to contribute.
The proposed location is absolutely not suitable for this type of development. The environment has already been vandilsed by the major landowner before the proposal was tabled to try and get it over the line. This is a disgrace and should never have happened. This proposal has already divided the community and if it is approved, it will destroy the community.
Christopher Eagles
Timor , New South Wales
Submission to NSW Government Planning, Industry and Environment in response to Hill of Gold (SSD-9679) Notice of Exhibition.

I strongly object to the submission.

This Wind Farm will destroy the remaining unspoilt environment in the Isis Valley, where we call home. The top of the Escarpment is the last remaining pristine environment in this area, and now this Project will destroy it.

No matter how important renewable energy is to the Australian population, its development should not be at the expense of the small amount of remnant pristine environment.

The area of this development is in the watershed of our River system, upon which we rely.

The Assessment process for this development has been corrupted by NSW government departments turning a blind eye to what otherwise would have been illegal clearing of a pristine forest corridor between the Ben Hall and Crawney Conservation areas. This is a corridor supporting threatened Flora and Fauna species, including Koalas, Wedge Tail Eagles, Sugar Gliders amongst many others.

The subsequent Environmental Impact Statement is using as a baseline an area that was pristine forest, but has now been cleared. If this occurred anywhere else in the state, the owner of the land would have been prosecuted.

Additionally, The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), is biased, misleading and inaccurate. Whilst it is very clear on the Renewable Energy benefits, many of which are overstated, it glosses over the impacts to the Environment and local communities. The widespread community support that it tries to convey is an utter lie. The Environmental studies could have been written by a child. This Environment deserved better.

We can always replace Renewable Energy, but we can’t replace the Environment.

This Project should be thrown out.
Allan Donnelly
BUNGENDORE , New South Wales
This project is poorly planned and the environmental damage far exceeds the benefit of this project. Even the EIS commissioner describes it at the last choice in the jar project.
David Petroni
MOUNT MURRAY , New South Wales
Although I am a supporter of Renewable Energy and work in that sector I am opposed to the location of this proposed Wind Farm as it will certainly affect the existence of airborne creatures ( micro bats , eagles ) and the local native vegetation , home to many land based fauna species ( koalas, flying foxes and quolls).
I urge this development proposal to be rejected.
Name Withheld
NUNDLE , New South Wales
I have lived on a family farm just outside of Nundle for the past 40 years moving here after marrying my husband who is a true Nundle local. I believe that the Hills of Gold wind farm would be a huge asset to the Nundle / Hanging Rock area. Creating job opportunities for locals who instead of them having to leave the area to get a job they would have the opportunity to stay in the area for work. This would then increase the numbers with in the villages, adding children to the local school, which has declined in students greatly since my children went there over 20 years ago. With more younger people staying with in our community means they would be spending local money in the local businesses. This would insure the future of Nundle and Hanging Rock as wonderful places to live and bring up families as well as adding another tourism attraction to the area. I think wind and solar are definitely the way Australia need to focus on for our electricity for the future. We need to be ensuring that our grandchildren and their children have a renewable source of electricity.
Mary Crichton
NEW LAMBTON , New South Wales
i object due to the detrimental effect on the wildlife especially the Eagles of the area


Project Details

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

Contact Planner

Anthony Ko