Willatook Wind Farm – Community
Sharing the benefits
Right from the outset of this project, Wind Prospect has been committed to ensuring that those living closest to the proposed wind farm share the financial benefits.
Information shared by residents and stakeholders, either directly or via the Community Engagement Committee, has helped Wind Prospect to develop a series of programs that share the financial benefits fairly and appropriately. These programs include a:
- Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program
- Energy Cost Offset Plan
- Community Co-investment Program
- Community Sponsorship Fund
- Community Benefit Fund
For further details about all these programs download the program flyer here.
Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program
The Neighbour Benefit Sharing Program will ensure the financial benefits of the project are shared directly with those closest to the project. Community feedback has been important in developing a framework that will benefit neighbours directly. This program will be implemented if the project is approved and construction commences. Under this program, all eligible neighbours (who own a dwelling within six kilometres of a built turbine) will receive a one-off construction payment of $1000 and between $1,000 and $30,000 annually, depending on the proximity to wind turbines.
Energy Cost Offset Plan
The Energy Cost Offset Plan is designed to offset the cost of electricity for neighbouring dwellings. It has an annual value of up to $2000 and will be available to eligible residents located within six kilometres of a constructed wind turbine.
Community Co-Investment Program
Community co-investment gives members of the local community an opportunity to invest in and acquire rights to a portion of the project’s profits but gives them no decision-making power or control of the project. If planning approval is provided and the Willatook Wind Farm becomes operational, a formal process will be established to assess community interest in investing in the project.
Community Benefit Fund
Once planning approval has been granted for the project, a Community Benefit Fund of up to $1000 per constructed wind turbine (up to $59,000) will be established and administered by a community committee for eligible community initiatives. The fund will replace the sponsorship fund at the commissioning of the wind farm and continue annually for as long as the wind farm is operational.
Community Engagement Committee
A Community Engagement Committee (CEC) was established by the Moyne Shire in October 2010 to provide a forum for consultation and information sharing about the project between Wind Prospect and the local community. The CEC comprises two Moyne Shire Councillors, three members of the community, and Wind Prospect. Meetings are held several times a year.
Sponsorship fund – supporting the local community
Following the release of the Victorian Minister for Planning’s EES assessment report, the Willatook Wind Farm Community Benefit Fund is currently on hold until Wind Prospect works through the government’s recommendations and determines the next steps.
Friends of St Brigids Crossley
The Friends of St Brigids Crossley committee reached out to the Willatook Wind Farm Sponsorship Fund in their efforts to ensure the buildings are well maintained and continue to serve the community they were built for. The interior of the church is in very good condition and needs the protection of a sound outdoor structure. The spouting needs urgent replacement as water is flooding into the porch. The new spouting will be similar in shape and colour to the original spouting. When this is completed, the ridge cap can be replaced and other flashings installed as required.
Koroit Football Netball Club
Willatook Wind Farm is pleased to have been able to assist the Koroit Football Netball Club in acquiring two new electronic scoreboards, one for each netball court at Victoria Park. The new scoreboards will assist in providing a professional approach to the netball games for girls and women in the league.
Hawkesdale Macarthur Football Netball Club
The Hawkesdale Macarthur Football and Netball Club requested support from the Willatook Wind Farm Sponsorship Fund to replace one light each at their Hawkesdale and Macarthur ovals. Football training with the old lights was near impossible, and with many kids around the club during training, the lack of lighting was also a safety concern. The lights are not just used by the club, but utilised by the cricket club for training as well.
A huge thank you to Wind Prospect for your generous support of our great club. Thank you for your continued support – Will McDonald, HMFNC President
Basalt to Bay Landcare
Basalt to Bay Landcare received community sponsorship funding to purchase two remote sensing cameras, batteries and SD card for its biodiversity monitoring programs at The St Helens Flora Reserve. This enables the group to replace current cameras that are more than 10 years old and continue to monitor biodiversity in the reserve, conducted under permit of Parks Victoria. These cameras monitor the reserve that is home to the Southern Brown Bandicoot in west Moyne Shire.
Orford Vintage Rally 2023
Willatook Wind Farm was delighted to support the Orford Vintage Rally and Southern Vintage Engine & Tractor Pull Association with community funding. Funds received helped the not-for-profit group to deliver a safe and fun event in the local community.
Hamilton Scout Group
Hamilton Scout Group applied to the Willatook Wind Farm community sponsorship program for funding that would complete their fundraising efforts and allow them to purchase a new equipment storage shed. The shed will provide safe and easy access to its Scouting equipment. This project was the result of incredible fundraising efforts by the Group that included support from a Federal Government Grant, the South West Community Foundation, Lions Club of Hamilton Raffle, the Australian Lions Foundation and Scouts Victoria.
Port Fairy Little Athletics Club
Willatook Wind Farm has sponsored the Port Fairy Little Athletics Club to purchase a new electronic starting system. The addition of this new equipment means that 100+ young athletes from townships within the Moyne Shire will have access to facilities that are comparable to other Little Athletic Victoria Centres around the state.
Port Fairy Cricket Club
The Port Fairy Cricket Club has received funds through the community sponsorship program. Funding will be used by them to make improvements to the cricket net area. The nets are used all year round by club members and enjoyed by people living in the area.
We’ve Got You
We’ve Got You Inc supports families in south west Victoria who have experienced the loss of a child. Willatook Wind Farm has recently provided $5,000 to the group to assist them in establishing a bereavement room at Southwest Health Care. As well as this, We’ve Got You Inc is working to provide bereavement training to healthcare workers in the region. We’ve got you Inc is supported by Southwest Healthcare and The Royal Children’s Hospital.
Port Fairy Consolidated School
Willatook Wind Farm community sponsorship program has supported Port Fairy Consolidated School to purchase a PA system that will help deliver fundraising events throughout the year in the community, while raising funds along the way for the school. This new equipment will also be used in their Performing Arts program to create learning opportunities for many young actors.
Port Fairy Agricultural Society
The Willatook Wind Farm sponsorship program has helped the Port Fairy Agricultural Society to purchase a new public address system, to be used as part of the Port Fairy Agricultural Show. The system will also be used by local groups for events that are held at the showgrounds.
Orford Community Hall
Willatook Wind Farm recently awarded the Orford Community Hall Committee a $5,860 sponsorship that will be used to fund the replacement of external doors of the hall and main entrance, which are in poor condition. This work will ensure the hall is secure, safe and in a condition for use by the local community. This work is also supported by the Moyne Shire’s Community Assistance Fund.
Friends of St Brigid's
The Friends of St Brigid’s is a community organisation that acts as the caretaker of St Brigid’s Church in Crossley. The group manages the precinct and coordinates a variety of grassroots community groups and events, including community music, 15 Minutes of Fame, Christmas Carolsand Irish Dancing.The group requested $7,495 to purchase a second-hand piano and trolley for use by budding and experienced musicians.
Orford Table Tennis Association
The Orford Table Tennis Association has been part of the community since the late 1950s. With a regular group of competitors, the association runs a pennant competition every year.
When the current restrictions are lifted, our funding of $1,620 will be used by the group to contribute to the recent increase in the Victorian Table Tennis Association affiliation fees, reducing fees payable by their members.
Koroit Irish Festival
The Koroit Irish Festival is a celebration of the town’s rich Irish heritage. Thousands of people converge on the town each year for a three-day festival of music, dance, and entertainment.
We have provided $5,000 to the festival for the purchase of portable tables and chairs. Although the festival has had to be cancelled in 2020, the equipment is there to be used at the next festival, which we have no doubt that everyone will be looking forward to.
Koroit and District Basketball Association
The Koroit and District Basketball Association offers a variety of levels of competition, from junior programs to an open mixed competition. There are more than 250 participants throughout the week, ranging from young children to adult basketballers. The association fields a number of squad teams each year, who play representative basketball at competitions in Victoria and South Australia. We are thrilled to provide the organisation with $4,500 for new basketball tops.
Koroit Cricket Club
The Koroit Cricket Club applied for funding to support its plans to install a recycled PVC picket boundary fence to the Jack Keane Oval. A turf wicket on this oval is used for cricket games and the fence provides the oval with clear definition and separates the play from spectators. This $4,000 was combined with other funding sources to complete the fence.
Port Fairy-Warrnambool Rail Trail Committee of Management
Port Fairy-Warrnambool Rail Trail Committee of Management manages and maintains more than 24km of Rail Trail and its associated infrastructure. We contributed $3,000 towards the purchase of a mower to enable them to more efficiently maintain the easement either side of the Rail Trail.
Hawkesdale Macarthur Football Netball Club
The Hawkesdale Macarthur Football Netball Club is sourcing funding for a second netball court at the Macarthur Recreation Reserve. Willatook Wind Farm has provided $5,000 for the drawing of plans, shire permits and planning consultant fees to prepare for the project.
Local family in need
Assistance to a local family who lost their home and belongings in a house fire.
Willatook Hall Committee
The Willatook Hall Committee applied for funding to trim trees around the hall. The Willatook Hall – which dates to 1933 – had a protective plantation of trees on the south and west. Initially screened by pine trees, these were replaced with indigenous species in 2003. This grant has enabled the leaning trees to be removed and the pruning of those that remain.
Public consultation for the proposed Willatook Wind Farm commenced in September 2010 during the very early stages of planning and feasibility assessment. Newsletters have been distributed periodically to all residents and owners of land within 10km of a proposed wind turbine location as well as to other stakeholders.
In September 2010 and again in August 2017, Wind Prospect staff knocked on the doors of all dwellings located within approximately 3km of a proposed wind turbine location. If residents were not home, a ‘sorry we missed you’ pack was left behind which included a newsletter and contact details.
Information Sessions were held in July 2019 to present information about the project and seek feedback from the local community. The posters used at these sessions were used to produce an Information Booklet, which was distributed to homes within 10km of the proposed wind farm and can be downloaded from the link further down this page.
During October to December 2019, a shopfront in Koroit was established to provide a further opportunity for anyone to pop in to discuss the proposed wind farm. The shop front was open for one day per week over a 12 week period, or by appointment.
In November 2019 and again in February 2020, Wind Prospect staff knocked on the doors of all dwellings located within approximately 6km of a proposed wind turbine location. If residents were not home, a ‘sorry we missed you’ pack was left behind which included contact details.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic impacted the ability to carry out in-person engagement activities throughout much of 2020 and 2021. However, during this time, a virtual presence was maintained through the project website, email and phone, updates provided to the community engagement committee, and project update newsletters were distributed in June 2020, April 2021, September 2021, December 2021 and March 2022. Virtual community engagement committee meetings were held in August and December 2020, March, August, October 2021 and with two in person meetings in May 2021 and February 2022.
A community drop-in session was held at Orford Hall in late March 2022, where people could speak to the project team about the project and the EES. An online webinar was also held in early April 2022 where some of the key specialist consultants presented on the outcomes of their assessments, and community members could ask questions.
Have your say
Your input, feedback and views on the proposed Willatook Wind Farm are important. We genuinely want to hear what you have to say and your opinions can lead to improvements to the project design. If you are simply after more information please don’t hesitate to get in touch – that’s what we’re here for.
Wind Prospect has established the following lines of communication and encourage you to contact the Willatook Wind Farm team.
- Toll free number: 1800 934 313
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Local community presence: We have a dedicated regional local Community Engagement Officer you can contact on 1800 934 313
- Information sessions are held at times throughout the project
- Project opinion surveys: Opinion surveys can be completed online at any time and are located here.
Personal information will be treated as private and confidential and will not be passed to any third parties not involved with the wind farm.