With the prospect of 100 wind turbines around his house, Allan Schafer wants John Brumby to send the Berrybank wind farm somewhere else.
“Move the turbines away from us,” he begged the Victorian Premier during a radio interview. “There are lots of areas within the state where you don’t have to be within 2km of houses.”
But the Berrybank wind farm, 150km southwest of Melbourne, is already approved, and though Labor is rolling out the goodies in a bid to keep their regional seats on Saturday, Mr Schafer lives in the safe Liberal seat of Polwarth.
It’s a different story in Waubra, 150km northwest of Melbourne, where its is claimed 128 wind towers have caused constant headaches, nausea and sleeping problems.
There, Labor minister Joe Helper clings to the Ripon electorate with a 4.3 per cent margin, and aggrieved locals predict the wind farm will help oust the three-term MP. “He won’t talk to us,” says Donald Thomas, whose farm lies 3.5km from the Waubra wind farm. “He just closes down, and starts to go on with the spin about the jobs it has created.”
Mr Brumby yesterday pledged to push ahead with more wind farms if re-elected, despite promising to look at Mr Schafer’s “particular issues”. “I do want to see more renewable energy in Victoria, the people of Victoria want to see more renewable energy to clean up our environment and to create jobs,” he said.
Eight wind farms are already operating across Victoria, mainly in the state’s southwest. A further 28 are approved, and another 25 are in the pipeline.
The Coalition has promised a 2km boundary between houses and wind turbines unless residents agree to have them closer.
The Schafers will be surrounded by 16 turbines within 2km of their property.
“The cumulative effect of the turbine noise will just be concentrated on our house,” said Mr Schafer, who commissioned a noise consultant’s report finding turbines within 3.5km would cause health problems.
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