Many members of the Flyers Creek community have welcomed the news of amended Victorian wind farm guidelines. The amendments reform the way wind farms can be approved and prohibits a wind turbine being constructred within two kilometres of an existing dwelling, unless there is written consent from the owner of the dwelling. The amendment also ensures wind farms would not be permitted within five kilometres of regional growth areas and establishes no-go zones for wind farms.
Randall Bell, president of the Australian Landscape Guardians said earlier this week “We welcome the announcement of the Baillieu Government’s commitment to landscape conservation in declaring some Victorian landscapes off limits for wind farms.
“Significantly, from a planning perspective, the Baillieu Government has signalled that, unlike the O’Farrell Government, the landscape and rural communities are front and centre in the planning process.
These amendments are an acknowledgment that wind turbines do cause harm to people, and if the NSW government is serious about protecting its residents, Barry O’Farrell would apply new setback guidelines to projects not yet approved, such as the Flyers Creek Wind Farm proposal.
“Sadly, for many landscapes such as Lake George (Capital wind farm) and Cullerin, it is too late. Despite this recognition the prospect remains that, with carbon tax sourced funding and federal government subsidies, the NSW landscape could still become an industrialised pin cushion of 150 metre high wind turbines”.
Max Rheese, executive director of the Australian Environment Foundation said the new requirement for wind farms to be at least five kilometres from regional growth centres will address the concerns of some rural residents.
“Health concerns acknowledged by the recent Senate Inquiry, which made recommendations for medical studies into the effects of wind farms must now proceed without delay for the many people who already live closer that two kilometres to hundreds of existing wind turbines” said Mr Rheese.
The pressure is now well and truly on the NSW O’Farrell government to deliver on their pre election promises to protect communities such as Flyers Creek from inappropriate industrial wind turbine siting. The Baillieu Government has set a high guideline standard which the NSW government must better if they are to create the best wind farm planning guidelines in the country, which has been their assurance since being elected in March.
The inclusion of the amended Victorian guidelines in the draft NSW wind farm guidelines would ensure residents neighbouring future industrial wind farm developments will have more adequate buffer between their families homes and operating wind turbines. Health studies will help to confirm a safer setback distance, which may indeed be much more than 2kms set by Victoria.
Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group Inc
C/- 349 Carbine Road, Forest Reefs NSW 2798
Phone 0415 324 426