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Windfarms – 738 and counting

If all of the locally proposed wind farms go ahead there could soon be over 730 turbines on the skyline within a 100km radius of Goulburn. Sounds incredible? Alarmist? Untrue?

Well – count them up for yourself (see table).

“Well over half of the NSW wind farms that appear likely to be built in the near future (as of February 2010) are within a 90km radius of Goulburn,” the Wind in the Bush website says.

“This situation, where such a large proportion of a state’s wind farms have been proposed in a single area, is unique in Australia.”

The possible cumulative effect of the number of wind turbines on the area is not lost on Kialla farmer and Friends of Crookwell member Humphrey Price-Jones. Mr Price-Jones fears there could be as many as a thousand turbines on local ridges and hills if all of the proposed new developments go through.

“The Crookwell Two and Three wind farms and the proposed Roslyn, Golspie, Fullerton, Collector and

Cullerin wind farms, as well as the 440 turbines proposed for near Yass and others – if all of these are approved it could be between 800 and 1000 turbines in the local area,” Mr Price- Jones said on Monday.

“And a new proposed power line between the Paling Yards wind farm (near Oberon) and Crookwell Two would open up vast tracts of country for further wind farm development from north to south across the shire,” he said.

“If you stopped 10 people in Crookwell or Goulburn they would say they couldn’t care less about them – but in the long term it will have a huge impact on the local environment.”

Mr Price-Jones said wind farms were not the answer to providing for Australia’s long-term energy needs.

“It is like 15th century technology is being reinvented to solve a 20th century problem,” he said.

“It is like saying let’s convert all of our navy’s ships to sail power or our air force’s planes to hot air balloons to reduce our carbon footprint – or let’s use windmills once again to grind flour – if I advocated these things people would think I was mad.”

Family First Senator Steve Fielding has been successful in establishing a senate inquiry into the social and economic impact of rural wind farms.

The Senate Inquiry will examine: (a) any adverse health effects for people living in close proximity to wind farms (b) concerns over the excessive noise and vibrations emitted by wind farms, which are in close proximity to people’s homes (c) the impact of rural wind farms on property values, employment opportunities and farm income and (d) the interface between Commonwealth, state and local planning laws as they pertain to wind farms.

The Committee is seeking written submissions preferably in electronic form submitted online or sent by email to

community.affairs.sen@aph.go v.au . The email must include full postal address and contact details.

The submission period lasts until February 10, 2011. The reporting date is April 30, 2011.

Meanwhile, an article in the Weekend Australian said there are plans for a multi-billion dollar, 10-fold increase in the amount of power generated from wind as the federal government pursues a target of generating 20 per cent of the country’s power needs from renewable resources by 2020 as part of its carbon reduction plans.

“It is estimated that about 40pc of the renewable energy target will come from wind farms,” the article said.

The Wind in the Bush website is at http://ramblingsdc.net/Australia/ index.html .