Community engagement is an important practice for wind farm proponents in the development and operation of wind farms. Meaningful community engagement on wind projects provides benefits to both the community and wind farm industry. The Commissioner encourages wind farm proponents to engage with the community throughout the life cycle of a wind farm.
Wind farm proponents have resources available for advice on best practice in community engagement. There are some examples of resources of best practice for community engagement in the wind industry provided below:
- Lane T & Hicks J. 2014. Best practice community engagement in wind development
- Hall N, Ashworth P & Shaw H. 2012. Exploring community acceptance of rural wind farms in Australia: a snapshot. CSIRO, Canberra
- CEC. 2013. Community engagement guidelines for the Australian wind industry. Clean Energy Council, Southbank
- CANWEA. 2008. Wind energy development: Best practices for community engagement and public consultation. Canadian Wind Energy Association, Ottawa
It is important that wind farm companies establish and follow complaint handling procedures as part of a wind farm project. Best practice complaint handling practices should be prioritised by wind farm proponents so that the wind farm can be easily accessed by the community and have their concerns addressed. Further, compliance with complaints handling procedures are often a requirement of the wind farm’s planning permit.
The Commissioner has observed a range of practices in the wind farm industry in complaint handling. There are guidelines available to help industry develop effective complaint management policies and practices. Some references include:
- Commonwealth Ombudsman. 2009. Better practice guide to complaint handling. Commonwealth Ombudsman, Canberra
- Standards Australia. 2006. HB 229-2006: The why and how of complaint handling. ISBN: 0-7337-7425-3, 30 pages
- Standards Australia. 2014. AS/NZS 10002:2014: Guidelines for complaint management in organizations. ISBN: 978-1-74342-854, 52 pages