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Victoria state government gives go ahead for 232 MW wind farm

Victoria's state government has given German company Pro Ventum International permission to develop a A$380 million, 116 turbine wind farm near Mount Gellibrand, 15 kilometres east of Colac in western Victoria. "This 232 MW project will generate more power than any other wind farm in Victoria and is expected to create 110-120 jobs during construction and 20-25 full time positions during the life of the wind farm," says state planning minister Rob Hulls. Pro Ventum is to start work on an environmental management plan within the coming weeks, while construction of the wind farm, which will power 133,450 homes a year, is expected to begin in the second half of 2007. The German company submitted its planning application in May last year after an extensive planning consultation process lasting over three years. Concerns had been raised about the wind farm's impact on brolga breeding grounds, but Hulls says he is confident there will be little impact on local birds. Victorian opposition leader Ted Baillieu says the Mount Gellibrand project "seems to have a greater degree of community support" than several similar projects. He says the Liberal Party will oppose wind farms "where local communities don't want them."

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