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Hot air – Wind farms ‘bollocks’  

Credit:  The Naracoorte Herald, www.naracoorteherald.com.au 30 January 2012 ~~

The public meeting on wind farms at Naracoorte on Tuesday night sent a strong message to the State Government: Leave the SE alone.

Only five of the 22 people at the meeting voiced their opinions on the Development Policy Amendment plan at Naracoorte Town Hall, but it was clear that the prevailing attitude of the meeting was hostility towards wind farms.

One opponent described the DPA plan as “complete and utter bollocks”, while another pleaded: “Please do not forget us.”

At the second of four public meetings on the issue, the State Government’s panel of five listened to vocal members of the community put their case forward, following submissions in December last year.

Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure officer Jason Bailey opened the presentations by outlining the case for wind farm developments in Australia.

“The State Government set itself a target of 33 per cent of energy by renewable sources…the government is striving to fulfil those targets,” he said.

Mr Bailey also set out the process to follow after public consultation was completed.

But as soon as the local speakers took the stage, attitudes of caution and outright negativity overrode any positive vibes.

Visual amenity, noise and community ramifications along with health impacts on both humans and animals in the surrounding areas were their main concerns.

Port MacDonnell resident Jackie Rovensky of Racecourse Bay strongly opposed the developments.

She said the DPA didn’t consider the “ramifications to communities” and added, “I couldn’t rationalise the proposal.”

She described the wind turbines as having a “detrimental impact” on the people involved.

“The World Health Organisation accepts noise as a health issue.

“The noise from turbines can be emitted in several forms”. She strongly recommended more research be done in rural Australia before the minister takes the DPA further.

“Until research is undertaken, no one can say wind turbines do not have an adverse effect on people.”

She said the economic benefits of wind turbines are “recognised and valued,” but she worries for communities.

Grant District Council director of planning and development Leith McEvoy said the Grant District Council supported the wind turbine development in their area but said further changes and discussions were necessary.

The council supported the 1km buffer between turbines and houses but recognised greater distances may be required in special circumstances.

He said the visual and noise impacts to communities needed to be considered.

He recommended an annual acoustic report be put in place and made publicly available by the Government.

Eight Mile Creek dairy farmer Louise Paltridge and her husband Tom had been fighting developments on their property for two years – costing them nearly $200,000.

Her main concerns were about turbine noise, health implications to humans and dairy cows, and the visual impairment to their area.

Mr and Mrs Paltridge filed a court hearing against the State Government’s plan and won on the grounds of visual amenity last year.

“We held grave concerns for the very close proximity of proposed turbines to houses, permanent destruction of the landscape, loss of visual amenity, decrease in property values, noise, health effects on humans and dairy cows, effect on the wildlife of the Eight Mile Creek natural heritage area, and the potential for causing great division in our community,” she said.

Mr Paltridge said properties can be devalued by 30-40 per cent.

She called the DPA “complete and utter bollocks” and said, the State Government was taking away the democratic rights of people.

She said the DPA was “the actions of a desperate government.”

The Paltridge family said the State Government claimed it would plant trees on their land to block the visual amenities, but Mrs Paltridge said the turbines were 140m high.

“How stupid do they think we are?” she asked.

She said people are emotional about the DPA for a good reason.

“It’s our homes, farms and livelihoods that are being affected.”

She said 20 families in Australia have been displaced from their homes because they cannot continue to live next to a wind farm.

She called it a “national disgrace…how many more wind farm refugees do we need before they get the message and leave our serenity alone?

“This DPA belongs in the scrapheap.”

Rendelsham local Ronald Stewart pleaded to the committee members and said: “please do not forget us. Please remember us.”

He spoke about the government’s desire to build 150 turbines on the Woakwine Range, from the south of Millicent to Cape Jaffa.

They want to “slice off the top” of Mount Hope – the historic point for ships to see – and “stick a turbine on it”.

“That is the type of thing we are dealing with,” he said.

Mr Stewart studied wind turbines in Denmark and said: “I came away very, very disturbed, it is something we should never entertain here.”

Source:  The Naracoorte Herald, www.naracoorteherald.com.au 30 January 2012

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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