A decision to refuse a wind farm at Stony Gap because of community health concerns is a “win for common sense”, Independent Senator for South Australia Nick Xenophon says.
The Regional Council of Goyder Development Assessment Panel last night refused to approve a 41 turbine TRUenergy wind farm at Stony Gap.
“More research needs to be done into the health impacts of wind farms and at last we have some recognition of that with this decision,” Nick said.
“This really is a common sense issue. When so many people have come forward and said their health is suffering and they believe it is linked to wind farms, we have to investigate.”
“When independent experts have measured ‘infrasound’ or low frequency noise coming from wind farms this is a serious issue. The scientific evidence shows that low frequency noise does affect brain activity and can severely affect people’s sleep patterns.”
Senator Xenophon said the Regional Council of Goyder Development Assessment Panel should be applauded for its decision, and said he had warned other Councils that they were liable for the actions of their Development Assessment Panels.
“I have been advised that the individual members of the DAP and the Council may face liability for the creation of a public nuisance and the negligent discharge of their public duties.”
Senator Xenophon said it was particularly important Councils and DAPs take into consideration that the South Australian Environmental Protection Authority’s Wind Farm Noise Guidelines 2009 do not account for low frequency noise.
“I am personally aware of numerous affected land holders who are taking legal advice about pursing substantial damages claims primarily in the tort of nuisance against those who have created, authorised or permitted the generation of excessive noise so as to prevent those persons from the usual enjoyment of their homes and properties,” Nick said.
“Last night’s decision was a significant turning point in this debate and ultimately a win for common sense.”
Senator Xenophon said the decision should also focus public attention on the economics of wind farms. “The problem with wind energy is that it can never replace coal powered energy because it’s not reliable enough for base-load power. The billions being spent on wind energy take away from investment in base-load renewable energies such as geothermal and tidal energy.”
Last month Senator Xenophon co-sponsored a bill in the Senate along with Victorian DLP Senator John Madigan that would restrict Government subsidies for wind farms unless potential health impacts were dealt with first.
For more information contact Sarah Mennie on 0409 696 531 or Nick Xenophon on 0411 626 677