Ararat Wind Farm

The Clean Energy Council has released a report designed to improve community engagement practices across the wind power industry.

Enhancing Positive Social Outcomes from Wind Farm Development was funded by the CEC and 11 wind companies to determine the most effective ways for developers to approach community engagement and benefit sharing.

“This is the most rigorous and in-depth research to be done at this scale in Australia,” lead author Jarra Hicks said.

“The findings are independent and provide useful insights and direction for industry, government and communities.”

Clean Energy Council chief executive Kane Thornton said wind developers understood the importance of community support.

“Developers who invest time and effort to build relationships with their communities based on trust and respect are those that are most likely to be embraced by their communities,” he said.

“The report shows that this is far more important than employing any particular initiatives such as consultation committees, neighbour payments or grant funds.”