For a project of the size and importance of the Jupiter Wind Farm, an extensive and transparent community consultation and stakeholder engagement program is necessary to ensure the best possible outcome for all.
The community consultation program commenced in March 2012. It began as a voluntary program although as part of the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project, an extensive formal statutory consultation process is also being undertaken.
The program began with a series of introductory letters and fact sheets sent to residents in the area. This was followed by visits to the community and meetings with land holders across the project investigation area to answer people’s questions and discuss the proposal for a potential wind farm in the area. The community’s views and feedback are very important and are being considered throughout the entire assessment and approval process, and beyond.
The consultation program has involved direct discussions and one-on-one meetings with members of the community, land owners and other stakeholders interested in this important project. Two community information sessions have been held to date, in June 2014 and December 2014, while regular newsletters are distributed to ensure the community remains informed about the progress and status of the development, and the assessments being undertaken by ERM.
Additionally, EPYC and ERM carried out one-on-one meetings with the owners of properties within 5km of the project site during October 2014. The discussions we had with members of the local community were both informative and constructive and the feedback will be considered as we progress this important renewable energy project.
Another important part of the consultation program is the establishment of the Community Consultative Committee (CCC).