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Opposition to wind farm  

Credit:  Tony Stickley The Weekend Post, 16 April 2011 ~~

Residents of the Walkamin and Tolga areas of the Tableland are gearing up to fight a proposed wind farm project in their backyards covering about 24sqkm.

Transfield Services, which already has a wind farm at Windy Hill at Ravenshoe, wants to erect 74 turbines near Mt Emerald.

Lee Schwerdtfeger, who lives just over 2km for the proposed site with her husband Volker, said the Mt Emerald wind farm would be 20 times the size of the Windy Hill operation near Ravenshoe.

In addition Transfield has another wind farm in the pipeline at Tumoulin, which is due to go for a hearing at the Tablelands Regional Council soon.

Mrs Schwerdtfeger said the proposed Mt Emerald turbines would be double the size of the Windy Hill wind farm at 125m to 140m high. “It will be over twice the height of the tallest building in Cairns,” she said.

Communities likely to be affected by the farm include Walkamin, Rangeview, and Oaky Creek as well as Arriga and Lotus Glen prison.

There are 75 houses on the predictive noise map produced by Transfield’s acoustic specialists.

“We do not really know what the noise level will be… it is a bit like predicting the weather,” Mrs Schwerdtfeger said.

But she said the noise level at the top of the tower was like a jet taking off at 250m away.

Apart from the noise, residents are concerned at the visual impact wind farms will have on the area.

“They will be visible up to 30km away in most directions,” Mrs Schwerdtfeger said.”

If the proposal gets through the council, she said the wind farms would have a devastating effect on the aesthetics of the Tableland, with them stretching as far as the horizon.

“It is our unspoilt natural Tableland that people come to see.

“These turbines are not going to be a tourist attraction,” she said.

Source:  Tony Stickley The Weekend Post, 16 April 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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