Residents from the South East were among more than 100 people that gathered on the steps of Parliament House in Adelaide last week to protest against statewide wind farm development changes.
Under the changes wind farms will be assessed as Category 2 developments, which alters the rights of residents to appeal against developments near their homes.
The new rules also limit the scope of councils to refuse approvals to projects.
People from across the state attended the peaceful protest last Tuesday with anti-wind farm banners and posters, while pamphlets were distributed claiming that wind farms have detrimental effects on property values, health and the environment.
Protesters were addressed by various speakers, including Upper House Leader David Ridgway, who recently revealed the Liberal Party’s policy on wind farms at a public meeting in Allendale East.
According to South East resident Jackie Lowe, the protest also included some passionate presentations from York Peninsula where 188, 150 metre high turbines are proposed on prime agricultural land.
“They have researched the effects turbines have in respect to aerial spraying and fire bombing and their concerns are well-founded as the human and financial cost will be devastating for crops and damage caused by fire,” Ms Lowe said.
Ms Lowe has urged South East residents to attend a public consultation meeting at the Naracoorte Town Hall at 7pm tonight during which the development changes will be discussed.
Meanwhile, Clean Energy Council acting chief executive Kane Thornton said the small number of people attending the protest proved that most South Australians supported wind farms.
“A study released by the CSIRO this week found there was significantly more support for wind energy than reflected by a lot of the media coverage on this issue,” Mr Thornton said.
Wind energy in Australia currently has some of the strictest guidelines in the world in regards to siting, noise and a range of other factors, according to Mr Thornton.
“It’s important that the views of a small and vocal minority do not take precedence over the vast majority of South Australians who support wind farms, and many hundreds of farmers who have the opportunity to earn an income from wind farming,” he said.
“It’s clear that all sides of politics support renewable energy. What the industry needs now is certainty, consistency and fairness from our major political parties.
“Wind energy is the lowest cost form of renewable energy and currently powers the equivalent of 900,000 Australian homes every year.”
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