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Communities speak up about wind farm concerns  

Credit:  ABC North and West SA, www.abc.net.au 7 December 2011 ~~

Communities say the State Government’s new wind farm regulations fail to ensure locals’ lives will not be affected and they want more say over development decisions.

The Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council wants a five-kilometre buffer zone between wind farm turbines and isolated dwellings, not just one-kilometre as proposed by the South Australian State Government.

The Council held a special forum on the Government’s proposed changes to wind farm planning laws.

The Deputy Mayor Ned Golding said the Council also wanted a five-kilometre exclusion zone to apply between turbines and the edges of country towns.

“We heard from some people that live very close by to these turbines near Waterloo, and they’ve actually moved out of their house and moved south towards Gawler now.

“They’re left with a house they can’t sell, they’ve left through sleep deprivation and it was quite compelling to listen to their story.”

He said this extended buffer was required as a safeguard motion since the Government lacked evidence for what wind farm proximity caused damage to locals’ health.

“It could be two [kilometres] but the Government hasn’t got any hard evidence that they’re not affecting these people’s lives yet.”

The meeting followed a similar forum held earlier this week in the South East’s District Council of Grant.

Mayor Richard Sage said councils and communities have lost the power to oppose wind farm developments.

“At the end of the day the decision will go back to the minister to sign off on and we’ve got no third party right as far as going and trying to get the decision overturned.

“I feel as though we’ve lost control because of the right of our residents not to be able to appeal a decision.”

Source:  ABC North and West SA, www.abc.net.au 7 December 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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