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Mortlake meeting to hear of turbine health impacts  

Credit:  Alex Sinnott, The Standard, www.standard.net.au 17 April 2012 ~~

Outspoken anti-wind farm campaigner Sarah Laurie will be the guest speaker at a meeting to discuss health issues related to wind turbines tomorrow night.

Newly-formed Mortlake South Wind Farm Action Group has organised the meeting to highlight community concerns regarding the proposed development by renewable energy company Acciona.

The group has been spearheaded by a number of Mortlake landowners, including spokeswoman Shelley McDonald, who claimed there was strong local opposition to the project.

Since the Brumby state government approved the Mortlake plans in 2010, the Baillieu government has amended planning legislation for new wind farms to require a two-kilometre setback from residences.

Mrs McDonald said the state government needed to ensure its setback requirements were enforced on all projects in the planning and construction phase.

She said the group hoped the forum would highlight opposition to the project in its present form.

“Acciona have not listened to the locals surrounding the wind farm, so we hope a co-ordinated community voice might change that,” Mrs McDonald said.

“There are 97 houses that will be affected by this wind farm, 50 of which are located on properties within two kilometres of the farm itself.”

Acciona Australia plans to construct the wind farm south of Mortlake by next year along Framlingham-Mortlake and Terang-Mortlake roads.

Acciona Energy community relations manager David Clarke said the company would send representatives to tomorrow night’s meeting.

He said the company had been working hard to inform the local community about the project and would hold a series of open houses over the next fortnight.

“While the Mortlake south wind farm enjoys strong community support, we understand some people have concerns and we see this meeting as further opportunity to hear and understand these points of view,” Mr Clarke said.

“We understand health is often raised as a concern but there is no peer-reviewed, scientific evidence wind turbines impact health. Wind energy is a mature, tried and tested technology used safely for decades all over the world.”

Dr Laurie is chief executive of the Waubra Foundation, a group which also counts former federal health minister Michael Wooldridge and retired judge Clive Tadgell as members.

One of the group’s prime objectives is to “investigate and review complaints of health problems that are perceived . . . as being associated with living or working close to wind turbines”.

The meeting will be held at Mortlake’s soldiers’ memorial hall from 7pm tomorrow, with everyone welcome to attend.

Source:  Alex Sinnott, The Standard, www.standard.net.au 17 April 2012

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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