Not all windfarms have been welcomed by their local communities with a number seeing active protests against their construction.
Many of the concerns of the objectors to the developments are along similar lines.
A number of these concerns relate to the impact the site will have on native flora and fauna.
Objectors to other windfarms claim the towers are ‘bird blenders’, a risk to migratory and native birds.
A recent application for a windfarm in Victoria was rejected by the Federal Government after concerns the towers would have on the Orange Bellied Parrot population (the Government is currently reviewing that decision).
Concern on the impact of native vegetation has also been raised, with the large amount of work required to install the towers of concern.
According to Pamada director, Mark Sydney, as this site is already extensively used for grazing, and has been for generations, the concerns on native flora and fauna are not an issue.
“Most of the development sites are already cleared grazing land,” Mr Sydney said.
“Unlike other developments of this type the land has already been extensively used.”
There has also been opposition to other windfarm sites following concerns by neighbouring properties.
One of the big issues for those living near to windfarms, according to objectors to other sites is ‘shadow flicker’, caused by the sun’s rays passing through the blade of the turbines.
Shadow flicker occurs at the same time each day and according to those living near existing sites, can be unbearable.
Mr Sydney said the company is committed to working with neighbouring residents.
“If shadow flicker is a concern we want to hear from the residents,” Mr Sydney said.
“We can ensure the towers causing the problems are not operated when shadow flicker becomes an issue.”
There is also the issue of noise, which can come from three main sources; construction, the noise from the generator, and wind-blade friction noise, or ‘sonic thump’.
This noise occurs when the large blade passes through the wind near the tower, causing a deep thudding sound.
Mr Sydney said the company is already planning extensive testing to see the impact of noise on neighbouring residents.
“We will monitor the noise and ensure that it falls in acceptable levels,” Mr Sydney said.
“Concerns on sonic thump are more of an issue for those windfarms in colder climates, where the cold dense air carries sound further.
“Our testing show that will not be an issue here.
“But if we are asked to investigate the issue further, we will do so.”
Protests have also been focussed on the visual pollution of the windfarms.
Many residents near proposed farms believe them to be a blight on the landscape, especially near coastal areas.
The residents say the site of a 150 metre tall tower on a pristine landscape is not acceptable.
But Mr Sydney said what one man sees as ugly another sees as beautiful.
As part of the application process Pamada believe the concerns of the community will be met, and those issues that are often of concern to objectors to such developments will be considered by the State Government.
12 April 2007
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