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Debate continues over wind farm proposal

The State Government’s Interim Wind Farm Planning Amendments have come under fire as strong debate continues over the proposed Stony Gap wind farm development.

A group of locals used a Channel 7 news segment last Sunday to express their desire for the project to be dropped, citing potential health risks and noise issues.

The group is demanding all wind farms be postponed until further investigations into the complaints are complete.

Waterloo locals also say television, radio and internet signals have experienced interference since a wind farm went up in their community 18 months ago.

South Australia’s interim amendments allow wind farms to be built within one kilometre of rural homes. Only immediate neighbours can object and there is no right of appeal.

Interstate laws are much more protective of people’s rights.

New South Wales and Victorian rules require wind farms to be at least two kilometres from dwellings and five kilometres from towns.

Mary Morris lives in the Buchanan area and is part of a local group concerned about friends, family and neighbours who are living near the existing Waterloo and proposed Sony Gap, Robertstown / Point Pass wind farms.

“People are facing turbines being virtually built all around them if the wind farm development at Stony Gap/Emu Downs, Robertstown/Pointt Pass, and Bagot Well/St. Kitts/Dutton wind farms are allowed to happen,” Mrs Morris said.

“Wind farms are great in the right place. This is not the right place. Stony Gap, Robertstown, Point Pass, Bagot Well, there’s too many people.”

“People living up to 10km away from Waterloo at Brady Creek and Robertstown can regularly hear the turbines because that is the way the wind blows most of the time.”

Mrs Morris said families have moved from the Waterloo area because of sleep deprivation due to the wind farms.

“One farmer whose farm is 4.5km from the Waterloo turbines has moved to Kapunda because he can’t get enough sleep at his farm house to run his farm. Another has bought a house in Saddleworth for teh same reason.”

Other former Waterloo residents have moved from their homes to live in sheds or caravans, on their doctor’s advice, because of the symptoms they get when living in their homes.

Stony Gap Wind Farm is currently in the notification stage with Goydeer Council.

Larger turbines than used in the Hallett wind farms are proposed to be placed 4.5km from the township of Burra.

In the next few weeks the Goyder Council Development Assessment Panel (DAP) will beet to assess the application.

Mrs Morris said there is a large group of people from Farrell Flat, Waterloo, Marrabel, Tothill Belt, Black Springs, Brady Creek, Emu Downs, Robertstown, Point Pass, Ngapala, Julia, Hampden, Eudunda, Bagot Well, Tablelands, St Kitts and areas in between who oppose the proposed Stony Gap and Robertstown Wind Farms.

A total of more than 200 local people who live near where the turbines are proposed have signed petitions, and written submissions to the Goyder Council, Members of Parliament and Ministerial DPAC expressing their concerns.