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Wind farm plans divide town  

Credit:  By Anna Morozow, ABC News, www.abc.net.au 25 January 2011 ~~

Plans for a wind farm at Collector, north-east of Canberra, are dividing the tiny New South Wales community.

Multinational company Transfield Services wants to build a wind farm of up to 80 turbines along the hills between Gunning and Collector.

It is still subject to New South Wales Government planning approval.

Residents opposed to the project are ramping up their fight against the project, unveiling a billboard alongside the Federal Highway.

They hope to turn their fight into a political issue leading up to the NSW election.

Tony Hodgson from Friends of Collector says residents are worried about the effects on property prices and their health.

“That’s the visual destruction of the amenity of Collector, and it’s not just Collector either, wherever they put these things in, they’re an eyesore,” he said.

But the company says research by the National Health and Medical Research Council has found there is currently no published scientific evidence to positively link wind turbines with adverse health effects.

One consequence of the project that is certain, is the division it is creating between those who are set to host the turbines on their land, and the rest of the community.

“We’re told signed agreements, secret agreements up to five years ago, that nobody else knew about, to put these turbines on their land,” Mr Hodgson said.

Frank Hannan farms a 1,000 acre property on the outskirts of the town and he says the view from his house is set to turn into an industrial zone.

“It divides the community, it splits it. Relationships of generations are being destroyed,” he said.

Upper Lachlan Shire Mayor John Shaw is urging residents to play the ball and not the man.

“It’s a bit like mate versus mate now, and neighbour versus neighbour, where one neighbour has got the turbines on his property and the other neighbour doesn’t. Well they don’t talk any more,” he said.

“What they need to do is to be fighting the industry itself and the developers.”

Source:  By Anna Morozow, ABC News, www.abc.net.au 25 January 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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