March 15, 2012

Federal MPs call for turbine study

Goulburn Post, 14 March 2012

Federal Liberal MPs Alby Schultz and Judi Moylan will lodge a Notice Of Motion to Parliament this week requesting the Government investigate the health effects of wind turbines.

Ms Moylan, the Member for the Western Australian seat of Pearce, and Mr Schultz also want planning policies in place to ensure windfarm companies indemnify against potential health issues from infrasound before development approval is granted. Mr Schultz said wind turbinegenerated low-frequency infrasound vibrations can produce a range of health effects in some people, including anxiety.

“There is significant anecdotal evidence supporting concern about the health and associated social effects of wind farms which remain unresolved,” the Notice Of Motion states.

“The Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee’s report ‘The Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms’ has called for adequately resourced studies into the possible impact wind farms have on health as a matter of priority.”

The MPs want the House to recognise that a National Health and Medical Research Council review on wind turbines and health is “only a cursory compilation of literature on the topic and not an in-depth study …”.

“We are also requesting the Government fully investigate international best practice in planning policies regarding wind farms and, in conjunction with state governments, publish comprehensive updated guidelines,” they stated.

Both MPs will have the opportunity to address parliament on the matter. Meantime, Mr Schultz is demanding more details from NSW Planning Minister Brad Hazzard on a noise audit of the Capital, Cullerin Range and Woodlawn wind farms. Mr Hazzard on February 20 announced that his government would commission “an independent noise audit of three wind farms to ensure they are meeting their approval conditions”.

“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.”

Mr Schultz said his constituents demanded to know who was conducting the audit.

“Whilst my constituents are pleased Minister Hazzard has finally acknowledged there are issues with these wind turbine industrial complexes, they are still in the dark as to the detail and transparency of the process,” he said.

“Given the Department of Planning’s countless failings regarding wind turbine assessment approvals and compliance as well as its outrageous disclosure of confidential submissions, how can anybody have any confidence in this so called independent compliance assessment?”

As part of the audit program, surveys will be sent to land owners adjoining the wind farms being audited (up to 4 km from a turbine), which will provide the opportunity for comment to be made for the department’s consideration.

Following completion of the audit program, it is expected that the Final Wind Farm Audit Report will be available in August.

URL to article: