EPYC has indicated an intent to make financial offers to some Jupiter neighbours. While dealing with EPYC is an individual choice, anyone doing so may harm their own interests if unaware of all relevant considerations. The document "If EPYC Makes You a Financial Offer"provides a discussion of many of those considerations.
If approached by EPYC, remember:
- The project is a long way from approval, which may never occur.
- You do not have to sign anything at this stage and it may be contrary to your interests to do so.
- You have the right to have other people present at any meeting.
- You have the right to seek legal advice before signing anything and should do so. Ensure that any legal advisor is very familiar with wind farm issues.
- EPYC will try to have one on one meetings to get separate deals.
- If you make a voluntary agreement with EPYC it is likely you will forfeit any rights for better conditions imposed by the PAC or through the courts.
- An agreement you think is limited may not be treated as such by EPYC and/or the Department of Planning and PAC.
- The wind farm may have sleep and other health effects that you are not in a position to assess but any agreement may require you to forfeit the ability for future action if so harmed. It may require you to sign away other rights.
- There is likely to be a gag clause a.k.a. “confidentiality agreement” restricting your right to discuss.
- You can expect EPYC will seek to minimise the cost to it.
- EPYC is likely to want some form of caveat on the legal title to your block. This may have an impact on the value of the block and restrict sale options even before the wind farm is in place.
- Any payment may have tax implications (reducing its in hand value).
- If payment is contingent on the wind farm commencing operation, that will be at least 3 years off and could be a decade or more, during which your property may be encumbered by the agreement.
- Any financial arrangement will be significantly eroded over time if no allowance is made for inflation, reducing it’s tangible value.
- There may be concerns about how EPYC or its successors can be held to any agreement. There is a history of developers selling approved projects to other companies to build and operate the wind farm.
Through the EIS process your community representatives will be very strongly pressuring the Department of Planning to have buy out rights and rights to compensation for badly affected properties inserted in any approval. Of course our preferred option is to get the project rejected.
So far at Community Consultative Committee meetings EPYC has failed to divulge any of the details of its proposal or share any contract or contract terms. You can form your own opinion as to what that indicates.
If EPYC comes to you with a "benefit sharing" proposal, consult your legal advisor, taking account of the points above and in the document "If EPYC Makes You a Financial Offer". Also remember that if EPYC is sharing "benefits" they want something from you, whereas harm sharing they are prepared to do for free.