Mr RAMSAY (Western Victoria) — My adjournment matter tonight is for the Minister for Planning, the Honourable Matthew Guy, and the action I seek is for him to help facilitate a meeting between Department of Planning and Community Development staff and residents affected by the operational wind farm at Macarthur, the biggest wind farm industrial park in Victoria.
I have brought to this house on many occasions concerns that constituents have raised with me on the impact that wind turbines are having on their livability and health, and I have even shared my own personal experiences of the behaviour of wind generators in their desperation to meet conditions of their permits
Anne Gardner of Macarthur is a real-life example, suffering a living hell as a result of the callous, insensitive and ad hoc plethora of wind farm planning permits handed out like confetti by the planning minister of the previous Labor government, Justin Madden, who, living in Carlton, had no idea what damage he was inflicting on a community that was not properly consulted.
Yes, I am supportive of wind farms, despite the fact they were demonstrated to deliver only 8 per cent of capacity in an emergency situation last week. Yes, sections of the community are benefiting from the investment, and as my parliamentary colleague David O’Brien stated in the house today, an investment by a Geelong company is looking at reducing the noise impact of turbines. However, Ann Gardner described the Christmas gift from the previous Labor government’s planning decision as follows:
Last night was my fourth night of severely disturbed sleep in the last five — I had to go away one night and for two days to try and recoup my physical condition before shearing, which is a huge physical job for my husband and me.
Since coming back to the farm on Monday evening I’ve had three more bad nights — 3 or 4 hours sleep is not sufficient for anyone …
Last night the turbines were roaring with a wind from the south. Couldn’t even get to sleep till about 2.30 a. m., and just lay in bed as if I was in a pressure chamber with my head aching badly and my heart thudding — in a bed that felt as if it had an electric charge through it.
This is not an isolated plea, but as more wind farm projects come on line I feel we have a duty of care to offer protection to the Ann Gardners of our rural communities, and that is the reason why in South Australia the Supreme Court ruled that turbines are to be turned off at night. I ask the Minister for Planning, through his department, to discuss with me and the residents who are impacted what options are available to reduce the impost of these turbines on their livability.
Hon. P. R. HALL (Minister for Higher Education and Skills) — Mr Ramsay raised a matter for the Minister for Planning requesting that a meeting be arranged between officials of the Department of Planning and Community Development and residents of Macarthur to discuss some of their concerns with wind farm operations in that area.