The “Draft NSW Planning Guidelines – Wind Farms” is a discussion paper only. Its inherent poor quality ensures this.
An examination of this document reveals little rigour, contradictions, omissions and escape clauses which would easily allow circumvention of the embarrassingly absent regulatory authority this document should contain.
Close examination of this document reveals several reoccurring and alarming aspects:
- The obvious lack of due diligence by parties responsible for the authorship of this document. This ensures criticism of these guidelines by any reasoned analysis.
- The obvious bias contained to ensure swift success of industrial wind turbine developments.
These Guidelines were developed to overcome the legal deficiencies which became apparent in the SA 2003 Planning Guidelines (used by the NSW Department of Planning and Infrastructure) following the appeal in the SA Supreme Court of the Quinn-AGL matter (see Section 2 (iv)).
Surprisingly very little has changed:
- There is still insufficient protection for the non-host residents.
- Setback distances are inadequate.
- Health implications are largely ignored or treated very perfunctorily.
- Rights of appeal by objectors to any wind farm proposal are weak and are obscured by layers of bureaucracy.
- Any appeal process that is open to residents and prospective neighbours of proposals are skewed by inequities of finance, power and access to expert witnesses.
- There are too many opportunities for abuse of power, violation of natural justice, attacks on local democracy and citizens’ rights, inequality and bias.
Download original document: “Submission on Draft NSW Planning Guidelines – Wind Farms”
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