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State Significant Development

Response to Submissions

Winterbourne Wind Farm

Walcha, Uralla Shire

Current Status: Response to Submissions

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

Development of a wind farm with up to 119 wind turbines, energy storage and associated infrastructure.


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 Australian Government's website.

Attachments & Resources

Notice of Exhibition (1)

Request for SEARs (6)

SEARs (1)

EIS (25)

Response to Submissions (3)

Agency Advice (18)


Showing 1 - 20 of 950 submissions
Name Withheld
WALCHA , New South Wales
We wish to strongly OBJECT to the Winterbourne, Walcha - Wind Farm development SSD-10471.
Thank you for the opportunity to voice our opinions.
As a Transport Company in Walcha, we will be heavily impacted.
We employ over 16 staff + contractors
This has been a stressful time for our business - with the unknown that this project brings and our real concerns at the impacts and obvious flaws in this proposed EIS.

The TRAFFIC will go directly passed our business door.
The traffic impact assessment is deficient in many aspects of the Winterbourne EIS and we have some very serious concerns.
Don't get us wrong - we are supporters of renewable energy.
But the Wacha area is the just
WRONG place
WRONG Size and the
WRONG Developer

We also strongly believe that Wind Energy, will be defunct in a few years and our small township and beautiful farmland, will be left as an industrial wasteland.

The LOCATION, of the project.
All movements will not only affect our ability to complete jobs, our scheduling and timeframes, will also be unknown. It will be very disruptive to our business and the township and will very inconvenient. Whilst Vestas make it look like traffic will flow around the town, the reality is that the traffic, will be travelling through the township, past residences, business', the Walcha Preschool, the show ground & sporting facilities. In the POOR SITE SELECTION-the developer has failed with statutory obligations to consider feasible alternatives to the site. The site selection and the proposed sizing of the site at 700MW unfairly intensifies impact on a small rural community like Walcha. It is totally inconsistent with any strategic land use planning and against the interests maintaining high quality agricultural land.
If wind energy was to come to our area - it really shouldn't leave the NEW England or Pacific highways. These big major roads, can handle the large volumes of traffic. And it becomes a state government road maintenance issue. This should not be made a local government issue. How is our small council to cope with this burden. For so many reasons.

POACHING STAFF - We can not fill vacancies in our business now. And the problem is systematic, all over the Walcha Town. We have staff with specific skill sets. They would be a target for sure. After phoning a taxi driver in MILES, QLD & ROMA, QLD, they have told us of the significance and the projects in their areas and the impact on their small towns and businesses. Walcha is much smaller than both these towns. We seriously think that this will have a detrimental affect on our business and effectively our town. The developers say they employ locals and offer 400 jobs. They come in and offer twice, what local business are paying. This sends local, established business, family owned business broke. Who just can not find staff to continue to run their businesses. All the investment in apprentices are gone. This means that schools & shops are affected too. When the project is over, these locals, who have been working on the project, have no local jobs to come back to. You then have families leaving town, to look for work. As the businesses, just don't exist anymore. One taxi driver told us that it decimated the township of Miles and that the town will never be the same again or take a very long, long time to recover. In addition, they also added that their crime rate increased. In a small town, that was quite immune to the town, this left a sour taste in the locals mouths. And another reason that they wishes that they had fought harder to object to the projects. Surely we can learn from other, small towns advice.

The ROADS & TRAFFIC CONGESTION IMPACT, within the project site are school bus routes. The risk to children walking and riding their bikes on these routes and waiting on the side of the road, for buses is frightening. The challenge is also increased - as there will be inexperienced, out of town drivers, driving on our road, increasing the risk to our school children. The only way around this is to stop completely at beginning of the school day and at the end. Who is going to be accountable if there is an accident?
Of the trucks on the Oxley Highway, during the 3 year construction period, with 288 trucks per day, during the 11 months of peak construction, there will be much traffic congestion. The MASSIVE IMPACT on the existing gravel resource. As well as our local traffic. This is a HUGE impact. After liaising with another local road construction specialist business in Walcha. We have been advised that the Construction of 113klms of road PLUS hardstands, is estimated to require 850,000 tonnes of road building to get the roads to Vestas requirements. For perspective, our only registered gravel pit in Walcha, has a current annual licence of 29,000 cubic metres. (10% of this requirement) Assuming that a 38t truck & dog configuration is used, this is over 22,000 truck loads in total, with an unknown portion of this gravel coming into the project area. The EIS does not include the majority of these gravel and water movements, in their assessment., as they do not even know, where the water and gravel is coming from. Another Flaw in their EIS Statement. and where is their water source... The EIS Suggests harvestable rights, bores, farms, dams or Walcha Councvil Supply(Surely NOT). The scale of this requirement is scarily, staggering. 2024 is predicted to be another dry year. Surely they can not be so greedy and take our precious water resource. That would empty our Walcha Dam storage, currently under construction, more than two times over. Put another way that is 56,000 water cart movements at an average water cart size of 12,000litres.... Of note - To our knowledge - Vestas hasn't even signed off on the traffic plan. How can all of the movements and a decision to move forward if there are still major issues like this, hanging in the balance?

The DEVEOPERS - have failed to identify that the project roads are popular with tourists and cyclists, headed out to our National Park areas and quite frequently use Emu Creek Rd, Moona Plains Rd, Winterbourne Rd and Blue Mountain Road. There are also frequently pedestrians between the Walcha Township and the Summervale Village, where the project traffic will add 588 vehicles to each road, each day (including 288 heavy vehicles).

There has been a POOR CONSULTATION process both with Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities. Talking to a local elder, she is appalled at the blatant, disrespect. Talking to local member Adam Marshall, this EIS Statement is the worst, he has ever seen. He has dealt with mines out west and EIS Statements and he advises that this Winterbourne EIS, is disillusioned and full of flaws. A developer, with no experience in the construction, at all.

The RISK - there will be a large amount of traffic, travelling on the Oxley highway Walcha Township and the rural Walcha Roads, as a result of the project. I am concerned about the wear and tear on the roads and the risk to motorists. Who will be responsible for the extra wear and tear. Councils can not keep up with the damaged pavements now.

ACCOMODATION - from time to time we employ sub contractors to come in a job, with us. These sub contractors stay in our local accommodation. Where are we mean to house these sub contractors, if all the accomodation is booked out in town. This is most concerning and of interest, where they will house all the project workers????

Community Fund - will not benefit all the towns people. No one has come to our door to tell us, how it will benefit us. Only a select few.

ERROR RIDDEN EIS - We have attended local meetings - to be informed. An EIS Specilist has been on hand to give advice to the general public - for those that are untrained in reading through EIS's. He is also a laywer. He has also strongly that the EIS is laughably flawed. It has been written with litte experience as a developer. And many errors pointed out. Alarm bells should be ringing. Early errors, pointed out to the planning department - have already forced the Developer's hand, into publishing corrections - how many times can this occur... ? Is the EIS totally dysfunctional... surely this can not go ahead. The only winner is the Developer. I wouldn't even say the land holders. They will eventually have to deal with decommissioning and that is a huge concern in itself and the generations to come, effectively in 67 years....
There is just too much at stake for our farming community. This project can not be allowed to go ahead.
From town - we will also be visually impacted.
We don't even like the thought of these wind factories, being seen in our beautiful area. We really think it will affect our tourism industry too.
If you asked our opinion... the people who vote for the politican's -who ultimately make and impose these decisions...
If we had to have offer a solution, it would be, Off the mainland and out to sea wind energy, is a way forward. You do not impact the land and the people in small rural areas.
or you have soooo many buildings in cities - with nothing on roof tops (solar/ housing energy units etc). Make use of the city buildings. Make them be of use.
That is our voice. We hope that you are listening. Hands off and Leave our tranquil farming and rural community alone. Let us do what we do best.
Walcha Indian Cuisine
WALCHA , New South Wales
Name Withheld
CALOUNDRA , Queensland
Name Withheld
EVERTON PARK , Queensland
Name Withheld
THE GAP , Queensland
Name Withheld
Wandoan , Queensland
Submission attached.
Name Withheld
THE GAP , Queensland
Name Withheld
HAWTHORNE , Queensland
Name Withheld
NEWTOWN , Queensland
Name Withheld
Wandoan , Queensland
Armidale Branch of the National Parks Association of NSW
ARMIDALE , New South Wales
Please see the attached submission.
Name Withheld
WALCHA , New South Wales
I am 13 years old and live on my Mum & Dad's property
I will inherit this farm, with my sister, one day.
We would like everything to look & sound, just as it is now.
No Turbine noise & no towers, on our neighbours farms.
It will just ruin everything.
Please come up with something else to run our power.
Name Withheld
Lake Albert , New South Wales
Reference for Objection Submission

Changes to the Council Planners Assessment Report are written in red in the link.

**New Condition Inserted C4A - Dealing With Modern Slavery.
Commonwealth Modern Slavery Act 2018

NSW Local Council Act 1993
428 Annual Report
438 ZE Duty to Ensure Goods & Services Are Not Procured From Modern Slavery.

Dr James Cockayne
NSW Anti-slavery Commissioner
he/him/his | M: +61 0455 255 453

**Amended Condition C8.
Prior to Commencement of Any Works - Storm Water Management Plan.
On Site & Discharge From the Site.
Testing Points & Regular Water Samples, Suitably Qualified Person.
Response Procedures if CONTAMINATION is Found.
Availability of Results.


Australia ratifies International Forced Labour Protocol | Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs Minister for Women Marise Payne

Implementation of the Magnitsky Act is another avenue to ensure this shamefully unethical industry is not exploited in Australia.


Joe Rogan exposes sad truth about cobalt used in electric vehicle, iPhone batteries | — Australia’s leading news site.
Cobalt is in all iPhones, tablets & crucially EV's - it maximises charge & stability.
Before anyone knew what was happening the Chinese Government & Chinese companies took control of almost all of the big mines in the Congo, with the local population displaced & the Congolese people under duress - digging in subhuman, gut wrenching conditions - using all raw human force - clanking the cobalt out of the ground.
Throughout the whole history of slavery, never has there been more suffering that generated more profit than was linked to more lives of people around the world than what is happening today in the Congo - mining cobalt in appalling, heart wrenching & dangerous conditions.

People need to get educated so they are agitated about it enough to do something to change this.
Hugh Cook
Walcha , New South Wales
This project and others of its kind throughout the proposed REZ benefit a select few, for a short period of time. Landholders are filling their pockets, with total disregard for endangered flora and fauna, their 'uninvolved' neighbours and the wider local community in general.

Instead of playing host to industrial sized mega windparks featuring some of the tallest turbines on the global market, the NSW government should be in support of independent power generation by the end user.
Why buy into near obsolete European technology, if there is an opportunity to be truly innovative?

The Winterbourne Wind Farm Project is a great example of "Big Industry taking advantage of small communities."
This project is a "developer's project", with a few turbine host landholders and the developer themselves being the only ones who will come off better at the end.
A project shrouded in such secrecy does not represent democracy.
Dangling money in front of people in a time of need, to pass off a half baked project with a total lack of social license, is highly unethical in my view.

As a directly affected Winterbourne neighbour: Neighbourhood outreach from the side of Winterbourne Wind/Walcha Energy/Vestas has been dismal, to say the least.
Name Withheld
WALCHA , New South Wales
We wish to OBJECT to the Proposed Winterbourne Wind farm
We are very much in favour of renewable energy.
We truly believe that this technology is expensive and unreliable and antiquated and superseded by the existing technology - that isn't as cumbersome as wind turbines and the disruption that this brings to our farming lands.
For example Modular Reactors & Micro reactors.
We can not stop this technology it is already here.
For example a modular reactor is going, online, in the city of Leeds in the UK.
Rolls Royce has built it.
It is 16.4 metres high and 4 metres wide and will provide power for it's population of 503,000 people. This will come online in 2029.
It is being put to the test.
I know what I would be choosing over thousands of wind turbines.
This is a no brainer.
We object - purely as there is already other great technology out there.
This type of wind power is already antiquated and out of date.
Leave farming land - for the farmers of our great country, to FARM.
We have an obligation to leave the land, in its best possible state for our generations to come and to nurture and tend to our soils, grow our crops and be food bowls and care for our animals and give them the best life from paddock to plate.
Thank you for your consideration and giving us the opportunity to be a voice in this process.
Rachael Flanagan
Hi my name is Rachael Flanagan, I call Walcha & the Salisbury Plains district home to me and my family for its absolute pristine & desirable farming & wildlife.
The idea that this “wind farm” will benefit our beautiful community is way off!
We have a Wedge tail eagle population that will be impacted immensely from the wind towers that will not be able to hunt & eat.
We breed Angus Cattle and run a Horse stud that will be personally impacted by the wind farm in the area.
Not to mention the high risk and proven cases leading to leukaemia in children from the transmission lines which are proposed to go along our southern boundary, metres from our residents. This proposed development does not go down well with my family and we are worried about our future in this community.
Your sincerely Rachael Flanagan
RJ Fletcher
WALCHA , New South Wales
To whom it may concern,

My name is Ross Fletcher, and I am writing to communicate my support for the Winterbourne
Wind Farm (proposal ID SSD-10471).

Im a 5th generation farmer in Walcha and a host land owner of the Winterbourne wind farm.
The Winterbourne wind project is a welcome boost of life the our region. It will provide a diversified income stream to land holders who have recently gone through the worst drought since records began, suffered the impacts of the recent 2019 bushfires, not to mention the unforeseen droughts fires, floods and any other extreme weather events that are becoming more and more frequent. This project will provide direct financial support to these land owners (myself included) to ensure the resilience of these farming family’s/businesses for decades to come. With the development of road networks and other infrastructure on our farms it will mean increased farming efficiencies and greater access to my farm in ways that could be rarely afforded otherwise.
Our towns of Walcha and Uralla will see direct benefits through the community funds boosting local services, community groups and organisations.
Im just trying to do my little bit to help me be the best for my business and family and doing the best I can for future generations of my family.

Sincerely Ross Fletcher
Name Withheld
WALCHA , New South Wales
Thank you for allowing me to submit an objection to the Winterbourne Wind Farm.
I think it is great that we are diversifying our energy sources.
I do however, have many concerns, with this particular EIS.
It is riddled with deficiencies and should not be allowed to move forward.

My first concern, is that the developer is inexperienced, foreign owned and uses fully imported products(That will have a 25 year life span) from their own company.

I believe that Wind Farm Energy is already ANTIQUAITED TECHNOLOGY.
We only have to look at the the 'Mother Countries' of Wind farm energy.
They can see that its expensive and unreliable. Look at what happened to these European countries, just last year. Turning the power off. To save power.
If our country decides to move away from Wind Turbine Power.
Our problem will be, that we will still have these industrial waste lands on our farmland, for generation to come. The decommissioning is our problem.
We look at these european companies who have developed these new technologies. Like small modular reactors.
They are 16.4m high, 4 metres wide and the city of Leeds in the UK, has a population of 503,000 people. What are you going to choose. Wind Factories or a 16.4 metre high x 4 metre wide, small modular reactor? It is not rocket science.
Another technology is mirco reactors - the size of two coffee tables. This technology is here. It is not being developed. We need to look at this technology and look at the long term damage that these wind turbines, will bring long lasting effects to our community.
And wind energy is not our only alternate.
We need to be making good decisions as we diversify our renewables.

I have concerns with the INCREASED BUSH FIRE CONTROL RISK: With WTG's creating no fly zones.
Water collection from paddocks west of the project area, while Oxley Wild Rivers National Park is on the Eastern side of the project area.
We loose our most important aerial tools for bushfire, gorge fire control.
Of particular concern is the location of the WTG's against the National Park
"Strategic Fire Zone Area", critical to wildfire control. The fires of 2019/2020 came within 20klms of our place. We would have been wiped out, if it were not for the aerial water bombing. This is a BIG ISSUE. We loose our bushfire control.

Also of great concern is the DIMINISHED AVIATION SERVICES.
We rely on aerial fertilizing and aerial spraying out of paddocks, as we are in mountainous country. Essentially the wind turbines create a no fly zone, near our rural air strip and low cloud conditions. National Parks also flag concerns, with aerial dog baiting.

TRANSMISSION LINES are also of concern, on our land.
We DO NOT want these transmission lines on our land. FULL STOP.
Plow your transmission lines or underground lines, through the National Park reserves, State forest reserves, crown land reserves, etc.
You want to impose these monstrosities on the good farming folk, who have brought a freehold, pay rates, pay increased stamp duty. You put it on your public land, if it is going to be such an environmental windfall. Essentially put your money, where your mouth is.
Leave farming land to farm.

In general - I honestly don't think that Wind Energy in our Shire is warranted.
The Planning ACT was created in 1979.
It's like an old Beach House - that just keep getting 'stuff' added to.
The act creates the Principles and decides if the project proceeds.
And this allows the developers, Vestas to come into our area and take their development application forward. They just keep ticking the Planning Departments boxes. They have decreasing sales numbers and have decided to become 'developers'. They are completely out of their league.
There has been NO strategic planning and no one has said what makes sense to go where, what size do we need and makes sense and when does it make sense.
There has been a roll out in the REZ Zones.
It all seems like the State & Federal governments are stumbling along and trying to pull this, energy transition, together and to please the voters.
The developers seem to be on a mission to come in and divide and conquer our small town.
They get the land owners to sign a disclosure agreement and tie them down.
And then divide the community, on the basis that they can not speak.
These division will be around for generations to come. It will not fix overnight.
The developers have done the bare minimum on the EIS and they have explored a lot of flaws, by doing so.
There are biodiversity issues, this is a destructive project, by industry standards. The health of our natural ecology must not be for sale. You simply can not re-create the 207ha of habitat, that will be destroyed. This project is in the WRONG PLACE. Project construction and operation is resulting in assessed destruction of native habitat, that is carrying a penalty and ecosystem credit payment of $50,887,024 and species credits payment of $13,431,558.00. Over $64 Million dollars in total. There is an accumulative impact - in that there is a congregation of proposed projects, in one small shire .....our small shire. There is a compounding effect, having them in one area. There is basically one road in and one road out. One road over to the coast. Roads and Traffic is going to be of major concern. The number of truck movements are 22,000 over the life of the project, of which 83% are heavy vehicle loads. How do we manage our roads, project after project? The accumulative effect of these projects are particularly important.

There is a VISUAL IMPACT of 119 turbines, 230metres tall, a height NOT previously constructed in AUSTRALIA. Compared to the largest project currently constructed in Australia(Oct 2022)- Coopers Gap in QLD, which has 3.63MW Turbines, to a height of 182metres. Add the flashing white or red lighting and our night skyline is dramatically altered. Sugarloaf tower sits at a height of 47 metres on the edge of Walcha township., for perspective.

DECOMMISHIONING issue - the developer will not be here, when the time comes. The developers are taking no ownership of the decommissioning.
So no real commitment from the developer has been made. They need to take ownership of this issue. They are not open to a BOND, to go towards the decommissioning and how we are going to pull these wind turbines and transmission lines down. The concern is that this burden will be left on landholders and our small Council an our generations to come. These issues must be made clear and definitive, by the developers. 1x turbine = 230 metres high and 800 cubic metres of concrete.. ... EACH. Just in the base of them. The developer is showing no concern for the future or showing any responsibility or accountability.

LITTLE CONSULATION with the community and no real genuine engagement with the local indigenous community, consultation.

NOISE NUISANCE is an issue.* 6.2MW Turbines*. We have great concerns that the noise is going to travel much further than the developers have estimated. And this has been under estimated in other projects(Bald Hills) and has extended much further than they have estimated, using out-dated models.

NEIGHBOUR BENEFITS are non-existent, as at August 2022.
I have tried to keep an open mind, in this project.
I am by no means, opposed to renewable developments.
I understand we are in the process of transitioning, how we generate our electricity now and well into the future.
BUT.....this particular EIS is one of the worst EIS'
It is woefully deficient, just touching on a few issues above.
The logistics, the transport, the transport disruption, the proponents, the aviation affects on our rural community.
It is almost as if the developer is trying to do the bare minimum to get it over the line, at our township and landscapes costs. No wonder the NSW Planning Department held onto the EIS, for 12 months, before they released it......They are in it for one reason. And one reason only. To MAKE MONEY. They are not genuine and the behaviour of the developer to divide and conquer our community is preposterous. They have already succeeded in that, already. The developer has failed our community, before it has even started. Good companies don't do that. They work with communities, to design a project, that the community is happy with. It may not 100% support, but that there is some shared equity/ shared benefits, for the community.
This is certainly not that. I don't think that this company is in it for the long haul.
They are not here to save the planet.
I can not support this project. This is a poorly put together project.
I hope that the NSW planning department, listen to the majority of Walcha people and the people's voices are heard. I think that the developers think we are country bumkin, fools and they believe that politics is on their side.

The TRANSPORT IMPACT ASSESSMENT does not appropriately address the safety, economic and social impacts of the traffic generated by the project traffic. I also challenge the assumption that roads will be maintain a level of service A. I request that an independent traffic assessment be undertaken.

Thank you for allowing me this opportunity, to be, one voice for Walcha.
Name Withheld
Killara , New South Wales
To Whom it may concern,
• I am attaching my submission below to the above-referenced development application
• I hereby declare that I support the Winterbourne Wind Farm proposal ID SSD-10471
• I would like my personal details to be withheld and not published on the NSW planning portal
• I have not made any reportable political donations in the previous 2 years
I fully support the Winterbourne Wind Farm proposal, as I see it as a major step towards a more sustainable means of producing power as a solution to a greener and more sustainable future. I have researched and read on this topic of wind powered generation. I feel that it is a positive project for the Walcha community to proceed with. In my understanding it will not only bring employment and tourism to this town and the greater district; but also contribute to the fiscal prospects of town businesses and farming properties in the district that are predominantly focussed on livestock and wool production. Farmers are so often at the mercy of the weather so what a wonderful ‘turn around’ to make the weather work for the farmers! Our family feel very strongly about changing the ways that Australia produces power. We have installed solar panels in our home; but the power that these generate is frequently limited to sunshine hours and days as well as the impact of shade from trees outside of our garden. In contrast, harnessing wind power is possible day and night regardless of sunshine with wind turbines. Walcha has many hills, so it is certainly suited to this purpose in my estimation. Once installed it is my understanding the wind turbines will require limited maintenance. Technical and mechanical support teams will bring employment and increased cash flow to the Community from commencement of the project, as well as new people joining the community, bringing positive growth on many levels. I am very keen to hear more about the development of this project and the increase in sustainable power for the benefit of the Walcha community as well as the broader district. By embracing projects such as these, Australia can progressively move away from coal powered energy production and move to a cleaner, sustainable and greener future. This is the way to the future.
Thankyou for this opportunity to contribute.
John Carlon
URALLA , New South Wales
See attached


Project Details

Application Number
EPBC ID Number
Assessment Type
State Significant Development
Development Type
Electricity Generation - Wind
Local Government Areas
Walcha, Uralla Shire

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Tatsiana Bandaruk