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Large scale windfarms for Kiama "unlikely"

Kiama Deputy Mayor Ben van der Wijngaart has said there was no new information in the latest Senate report into the social and economic impact of wind farms released on Thursday.

The inquiry looked at the health effects on people living close to wind farms, concerns over excessive noise and vibrations and the impact on rural property values.

The report showed 80 per cent of respondents to the enquiry were in favour of wind power and there was inadequate information to prove the turbines caused sleeping and balance and mood problems.

However, it did recommend a study into the impact the turbines had on human health and state and territory governments should calculate the impact of noise and vibration on homes.

Cr van der Wijngaart said a similar enquiry was conducted in 2009.

“It’s all been gone over – it’s all action from lobbyists,” he said.

Cr van der Wijngaart said the lobby group responsible for the enquiry was the Landscape Guardians – a pro-nuclear power lobby group formed during the Thatcher era, active in the UK and Australia.

“It’s a strong organisation that comes up every time spreading misinformation and scare campaigns,” he said.

While Cr van der Wijngaart said large-scale wind farms in Kiama were unlikely, small groupings of two or three turbines with a 1.6 to two-megawatt capacity could sustain the municipality’s energy needs.

Kiama Council reviewed its small-scale wind turbine policy at last night’s meeting following residents’ concerns earlier this year.