February 16, 2012

Wind debate blows a gale

Brendan Crabb, www.kiamaindependent.com.au 16 February 2012

Shellharbour City’s mayor has reinforced her stance on wind farms, despite a slap on the wrist from the State Government.

At last Tuesday night’s meeting, council passed a motion to oppose future wind farm developments, as well as make its views known to the State Government.

Mayor Kellie Marsh used her casting vote to pass the motion, fellow Liberal councillor Paul Rankin and independent Helen Stewart also voting in favour of it.

Cr John Murray was absent from the meeting.

Cr Rankin said he believed wind farms were “unproven technology” and had previously raised concerns about them potentially causing health issues, detracting from tourism and not being consistent with the city’s visual amenity.

Cr Marsh said not enough research had been conducted on the alleged effects of “Wind Turbine Syndrome”, throwing her support behind solar power.

The State Government’s new wind farm approval guidelines are on display until March 14.

At the meeting, Labor deputy mayor Marianne Saliba blasted her Liberal colleagues, claiming they were showing no confidence in their state counterparts.

In a radio interview last week, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard described the council’s actions as “a little befuddling”.

“I don’t quite understand as to why Shellharbour would do this off their own bat,” he said.

“Councils are entitled to make statements, but whether this is the most sensible statement is questionable… I think it would have had a little more credibility if Shellharbour had simply made their submission in the process that the government has set up.”

Cr Marsh said that while the motion had attracted statewide interest, locally residents were “quite comfortable” with council’s stance.

She will be seeking a meeting with Mr Hazzard in the near future to discuss the matter.

Cr Marsh said she was not suggesting wind farms be ruled out statewide, but believed there were far more appropriate places for them than Shellharbour City.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/02/16/wind-debate-blows-a-gale/