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Wind farm noise to be measured

The NSW Government will commission an independent noise audit of three wind farms to ensure they are meeting their approval conditions, Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Brad Hazzard said today.

“I asked the Department of Planning and Infrastructure to undertake this audit, following continued resident complaints about noise issues,” Mr Hazzard said.

The audit will cover the Capital, Cullerin Range and Woodlawn wind farms in southern NSW, which are the State’s three operational NSW Government approved wind farms.

“Although investigations conducted by the Department to date have found the wind farms are complying with noise limits, the Department is continuing to receive noise complaints from nearby residents,” Mr Hazzard said.

“To address this, the NSW Government will engage an independent, specialist noise consultant to determine the issue.

“The audit will also provide information on low-frequency noise from these wind farms to provide input into the finalisation of Statewide wind farm guidelines.”

Mr Hazzard said the Department’s compliance unit will also assess other issues covered in consent conditions, including visual amenity, flora and fauna impacts, blade flicker, community contributions and electromagnetic interference.

The final audit reports will be made publicly available on the Department’s website at www.planning.nsw.gov.au

Key stakeholders will be consulted as part of the audit including residents, local councils, the Environment Protection Authority and wind farm proponents.

“The audit process will include a questionnaire, meetings and a public information line. It is expected to begin this month and take until August to complete,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Wind farms will play an important part in the State’s energy future. However, it is important the community has confidence these installations are operating in line with their consent conditions and they are not diminishing a local community’s lifestyle.”