A Supreme Court decision in South Australia should send a warning to wind farm developers that they need to consult with the community, Member for Orange Andrew Gee said this week.
The third stage of AGL’s Hallet wind farm was challenged by a resident who claimed that it was depriving residents within a 3.5 km radius of sleep.
The Full Court of the South Australian Supreme Court allowed the appeal after AGL admitted it had found some of the turbines from the first two stages were emitting an audible noise that breach government guidelines.
AGL had been shutting down 16 of their 34 turbines at night.
Mr Gee said he was concerned to hear that throughout Australia, more than 20 families had left their homes because of the effects of wind turbine noise on their health.
“Currently in the Orange electorate there are plans for a number of wind turbine farms that are far bigger than the one at Hallett in South Australia,” he said.
Mr Gee said one of the results of the Hallet case was that people who had previously been vilified and labelled as serial complainers were now being taken seriously by their operators.
He said he would be urging the NSW Government to take careful note of the South Australian Supreme Court decision in drafting guidelines for wind farms.
Mr Gee said he would also recommend that any company planning to operate a wind farm takes heed of the case and consults not only with owners of land where they plan to locate turbines, but also property owners who are not being asked to host turbines.
“This court decision showed state planning authorities need to pay close attention to the location of wind farms near houses,” he said.
“The South Australian case questioned whether the turbines were compliant with that state’s noise guidelines and it turned out that they weren’t.”
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