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Wind farm opponents given right to appeal  

Credit:  Dylan Smith, The Flinders News, www.theflindersnews.com.au 23 November 2011 ~~

Local residents now have the opportunity to appeal against development approval for the Hallett 3 wind farm because of noisy turbines.

The South Australian Supreme Court gave opponents the right to appeal, after Hallett wind farm operator AGL was challenged by Mount Bryan resident Bill Quinn.

Mr Quinn succeeded in his challenge, after AGL had found that some of the turbines were breaching government guidelines on noise limits.

He appealed the development of stage three of the wind farm, which is east of the Hallett township.

“The noise coming from Hallett 2 was absolutely horrible,” he said.

Mr Quinn lives three kilometres from the northern end of stage two, but his mother lives just two kilometres away from the wind farm and can hear the noise of the turbines at night.

“Some nights she has to turn the ceiling fan on to drown out the noise,” he said.

Manager of wind farm operations for AGL, Scott Thomas said they were taking action on the noise issues at Hallett 2.

“Until the permanent acoustic treatment is implemented, we will continue to operate Hallett 2 with 16 of the wind turbines shut down at night so that the noise is within acceptable levels,” he said.

“The wind farm will resume normal operation once the treatment has been implemented. We want to be a good neighbour and we’re committed to working with local communities and taking any concerns that they have about our projects seriously.”

Medical director of the Waubra Foundation, and Beetaloo Valley resident, Sarah Laurie said the residents of the surrounding area including the town of Mt Bryan have reported some excellent sleeps in the last week, since the turbines had been shut off.

“They have previously been publicly vilified and labelled as serial complainers and worse,” she said.

“The Waubra Foundation currently recommends a 10 kilometre precautionary setback distance, until the proper research is completed, as this is the limit where highly specific symptoms correlating unmistakably with turbine operation are being reported.”

Now that the Supreme Court has given the opponents the right to appeal, the matter will go back before the Environment Resources and Development Court.

Source:  Dylan Smith, The Flinders News, www.theflindersnews.com.au 23 November 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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