The South Australian opposition has backed more wind farm development but doesn’t want them close to homes.
Opposition Leader Isobel Redmond said a future Liberal government would ban new wind turbines being located within two kilometres of existing homes.
She said her government would also protect nearby landowners from economic losses caused by restrictions on aerial spraying and crop-dusting and would help develop national guidelines on wind farm locations and noise emissions.
“The South Australian Liberals believe wind farms must not be approved on sites where they create negative economic and social effects,” Ms Redmond said.
“We will protect residents by banning new wind turbines from being built closer than two kilometres from an existing home.
“We have more wind generation of any other state, with more than half of Australia’s installed wind power in SA and it is time we started looking after the communities that live near wind farms.”
The policy puts it at odds with the state government which last year unveiled a renewable energy plan it said would unlock more investment in the sector.
Under the plan, no wind turbines will be allowed within one kilometre of any home, unless both the home owner and the developer agree to a shorter distance.
Local councils will also become the key authority for assessing planning applications for new wind farms.
“These policies and the processes for implementing them will skew investment away from populated areas, while giving greater certainty and consistency to wind farm investors,” Urban Development Minister John Rau said at the time.
So far about $2.8 billion has been invested in wind power in South Australia, creating more than 3000 direct and indirect jobs.
Wind power now accounts for 21 per cent of all electricity generated across the state, compared to just one per cent in 2004.
The government said a further $1.8 billion in wind farm investment was on hold, waiting for the release of the government’s revised renewable energy guidelines.
The Clean Energy Council said the government’s changes would encourage a closer working relationship between the wind industry, local councils and regional communities.
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