Federal Liberal MP Alby Schultz says incompetent NSW government ministers who ignored his concerns about noisy wind farms have led him to campaign against his own party.
NSW cabinet is meeting this week to consider guidelines that will determine the future of wind power in the state.
About 20 applications for new farms have been put on hold while the government decides how to balance competing interests.
Mr Schultz, member for Hume in southern NSW, says he’s gone against his own party because “somebody has got to stand up for their constituents”.
“My constituents came to me earlier in the piece because of the concerns that they had,” Mr Schultz told reporters in Sydney on Monday.
“The more that I looked at this industry the more I was convinced that there was a serious issue.
“For eight months now I’ve tried to convince the premier and his ministers, some of whom are totally incompetent, that they should be looking at this issue.”
A group opposed to plans for a wind farm in Flyers Creek, near Orange in the state’s central west, says the farms will be breaching the NSW government’s environmental legislation.
In a submission presented to NSW Planning on Monday, the group said the farms will cause excessive noise causing sleep loss, stress and other health problems.
The Shooters and Fishers Party agree.
Shooters Party MP Robert Borsak says the government should halt the entire process.
“We’d like the state government to at least have a detailed and proper inquiry into these planning laws,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“The Shooters and Fishers Party is against wind farms. We just don’t think they’re appropriate in our agricultural setting.”
Asked if the party would use its balance of power in the upper house to campaign against wind farms, Mr Borsak said: “If we get a chance, we will.”
But opposition environment spokesman Luke Foley wants the O’Farrell government to roll out the welcome mat for the wind industry.
“There’s $3 billion of investment opportunity for this state, if we’re open for business,” he told reporters in Sydney.
“We know that large scale wind is the cheapest possible form of renewable energy.
“There’s no credible health research that says there is any risk to people’s health from wind turbines near them.”
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