A LEGAL challenge to Hydro Tasmania's $2 billion wind farm proposal for King Island also threatens the island's chances of establishing a new abattoir, supporters warn.
Lawyers for the No TasWind Farm Group this week lodged an application in the Federal Court to prevent Hydro carrying out a feasibility study into the 200-turbine project.
The group claims Hydro undertook to obtain a social licence and indicated a minimum level of 60 per cent community support would be required to go ahead with the next stage.
In June, a poll of King Island residents fell just short of the goal, with only 58.77 per cent in favour.
The writ refers to comments made by Hydro's corporate services director Andrew Catchpole who told a public meeting on the island: "If having talked about it, you think it is a bad idea, then it won't happen. That is an absolute commitment."
At the time the results of the survey were released, Mr Catchpole said the 60 per cent figure was more of a guide.
The group claims the process so far has harmed and has the potential to cause further harm to the island by creating uncertainty in the tourism sector, reducing land values and creating community division.
Wind farm supporter David Kerr, who also sits on a committee working on establishing a new abattoir to replace the closed JB Australia facility, said Hydro had offered to financially assist the abattoir study as part of its commitment to provide $1 million a year for community projects.
He said the legal action placed that work in jeopardy.
Mr Kerr hoped the court case would not stir up tension again.
"Since the vote things are slowly calming down, people are talking and getting on with their business. I think some people (who were opposed) have changed their minds," he said.
Hydro Tasmania and the state government declined to comment while the matter was before the courts.