I refer to the article in the Northern Argus (June 18, 2008) “Wind power puts Hallett on map”. The article portrays the wind power development recently completed at Hallett and the further wind power sites proposed by AGL in the future as unequivocally positive. I would like to present another perspective and highlight some of the issues that have not been included in the article.
What your readers may not know is that, in addition to the Hallett Stage 1 construction featured in your article, there is another industrial wind turbine site currently under construction near Snowtown. In addition, there are a further seven wind turbine sites proposed in the Mid North. This means, if all proposals go ahead there will be over 350 (possibly more) wind turbines throughout the Mid North. According to your article these turbines are “enormous” and your fact file informs us that each turbine has a rotor diameter of 88 metres, each turbine blade is 44 metres long from hub to tip and weighs 7 tonnes and that the towers are 80 metres tall and contain about 100 tonnes of steel. Given the sheer size of the turbines and the scale and extent to which they are proposed in the Mid North, this issue significantly affects all residents in the area.
What the article does not tell us about is the effect that wind turbines can have on the health and wellbeing of residents. Nor does the article identify the negative effect that the construction of wind turbine sites has on property values. There is also no mention of the disruptions to television reception and telecommunications. Neither does the article mention the visual impact that the turbines have for many kilometres around including the flicker of bright red lights on these mammoth structures outside of daylight hours. Not only is it the turbines but also the additional infrastructure that is required such as sub-stations and power lines that destroy the views of our landscape and devastate our countryside by turning our beautiful rural settings into industrial sites. The article also fails to mention the substantial consequences for birds and animals or the studies which suggest that wind turbine sites can impact on local weather patterns. Neither does the article discuss the fact that the contribution of wind power in reducing global warming is very questionable.
In summary, what the article does not talk about is the reduction in the quality of life for the Mid North community.
There is a plethora of evidence and documentation available that supports the notion that these are all very real issues. All of these problems have been experienced by many other communities both in Australia and world wide who have been the target of wind power development.
I believe there are enough issues relating to wind power development to be of significant concern. I would urge residents of the Mid North to gather the evidence and critically analyse the information before accepting wholesale, the proliferation of these industrial wind turbine developments in our community.
26 June 2008
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