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Cullerin wind farm noise “audit”

The Cullerin wind farm in Upper Lachlan Shire, will be one of three that will be “audited” to ensure it is complying with required noise standards.

The others are the Capital and Woodlawn wind farms.

State Planning Minister, Mr. Brad Hazzard, has announced that the audits will be carried out over six months by a noise consultant because of regular complaints by residents of these areas.

The audit will include a questionnaire, meetings and a public information line, and will also consider other impacts such as “visual amenity, flora and fauna impacts, blade flicker, community contributions and electromagnetic interference.”

Mr. Hazzard commented that although investigations conducted by the Department have found the wind farms are complying with noise limits, it is continuing to receive noise complaints.

Mr. David Griffin, general manager of Infingen Energy, which operates the Capital Wind Farm, claims that farms are already subject to some of the strictest noise assessments in the world.

“Clearly it’s a political process, not a scientific one,” he said.

But Mr. Hazzard has maintained that the “jury is out” on health impacts from wind farms despite advice from the NSW Health Department that arguments put forward by anti-wind farm campaigner were not scientifically valid.

Mr. Humphrey Price Jones, of the NSW Landscape Guardians, firmly rejected the Health Department claim that the anti-windfarm claims were not scientifically valid.

“These comments are demonstrably incorrect as a number of internationally recognised studies have concluded that low frequency sound and infrasound from wind turbines negatively affects human health,” Mr. Price Jones said.

“These studies have been conducted by international experts in the field of acoustics who have published their work in prestigious scientific journals.

“The works of Salt and Hullar (Hearing Research Vol 268, 2010) and Carl Phillips (Bulletin of Technology and Society Vol 31. 2011) are examples of such research.

“For the Health Department to continually deny such studies calls into question the amount of research it is willing to undertake.”

Mr. Price Jones added that the NSW Landscape Guardians continue to call for a moratorium on ALL windfarm development until research has determined safe setback distances of turbines from homes.