Mitchell Shire Council this week unanimously rejected an application for a 16 turbine wind farm by Infigen Energy south east of Seymour in central Victoria. This was the first application since new planning rules took effect prohibiting wind farms within 2km of residences.
“Strong community opposition to the application no doubt influenced council’s decision” said Max Rheese, executive director of the Australian Environment Foundation who was one of the speakers at a community meeting in August on the proposal.
The overwhelming majority of survey forms returned following the August meeting rejected the planned wind farm, contrary to claims most people in rural communities support wind farms.
A 2011 survey found half of the survey participants, all of whom lived within 5km of the Waterloo wind farm, considered themselves to be moderately to severely impacted by turbine noise.
“Goyder Council in South Australia recently rejected a wind farm application following local opposition reflecting concerns local communities have, particularly with adverse health impacts.
Acoustical engineer Steven Cooper has measured infrasound and low frequency noise inside a home up to 8km from a wind farm where residents of the home are suffering ill-effects from wind turbine operations.
Mr Cooper presented detailed analysis of his work at an AEF conference in Sydney last week where he stated claims in wind farm guidelines that wind farms do not produce infrasound are not supported by actual noise data.
“We are aware of other independent acoustical monitoring which demonstrates existing wind farm operations are not complying with the noise guidelines.
“There is serious concern about the degree of impact imposed on nearby residents if wind farms are complying with guidelines that have been shown to not prevent harm, let alone noise levels that are not compliant with guidelines” said Mr Rheese.
The Foundation has been calling for a moratorium on further wind farm construction until health studies have been completed as recommended by the 2011 senate inquiry.
– ENDS –
Cooper noise data http://aefweb.info/data/Are%20wind%20farms%20too%20close%20to%20communities.pdf
Media Contact: Max Rheese 0428 621320
The Australian Environment Foundation is a not-for-profit, membership-based environment organisation having no political affiliation. AEF takes an evidence-based, solution focused approach to environmental issues.
The AEF embraces the IUCN (World Conservation Union) sustainable use principles as providing an ethical balanced framework for many environmental challenges.
For more information about AEF visit www.aefweb.info
October 28th 2012
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