Scaled down Rugby Wind Farm project an admission that there is a problem with industrial wind turbines
News that the proponents of the Rugby Wind turbine development Suzlon/REPOwer have reduced the number of turbines proposed in their project has done little to allay the concerns of the many residents of Boorowa.
Charlie Arnott, chair of the Boorowa District Landscape Guardians (BDLG) said that a 40% reduction in the number of turbines proposed does not give local residents any more certainty that the impacts that have plagued industrial wind turbine projects around the world will be reduced.
“A reduced number of turbines does not reduce the adverse affects wind turbines have on real estate prices, human health and on the immediate environment”, Mr Arnott said. “This is especially so if the wind turbines that remain are larger and of a greater capacity than those on the original plan. So don’t be fooled into thinking that removing turbines will reduce the impacts.”
It has been demonstrated very clearly that the NSW noise guidelines are totally inadequate and will not guarantee that residents will not be adversely impacted by noise under the criteria used in the guidelines.
“There are many homes within a distance from the Rugby wind turbines that will still be affected by offensive noise, as identified by one of Australia’s leading acousticians, and as a consequence, nuisance claims against hosts are likely to be lodged by neighbours. Common law can still be broken even if conditions of consent are met by the wind turbine operators”, said Mr Arnott.
“One must ask serious questions of Suzlon/REPOwer if they have nearly halved the size of the original plans at this late stage of their development application process. This clearly highlights that they did not do the necessary planning or community consultation required in their preliminary dealings with the community”, said Sam McGuiness, a member of the BDLG. “We have asked them to three public meetings to answer questions from the community and three times they refused to do so. And they still refuse to consult with the growing number of residents that have grave concerns about the project at an open transparent public forum meeting. They clearly are not interested in telling the truth.”
“Why have they removed so many fans if there are no problems? They know these turbines will cause massive noise and health problems for neighbours. These companies cannot be trusted, they are in it for the money and will do and say anything as we have seen.”
Suzlon/REpower are in the middle of a legal battle waging in South Australia between AGL and landholders regarding noise being emitted from Suzlon wind turbines at the Hallett 2 wind farm. Evidence tabled in the Supreme Court of South Australia identified that there were tonality issues with the Suzlon turbines as far back as 2007, despite a guarantee from Suzlon that their turbines were supplied free of tonality.
The claims of the proponents Suzlon/Repower that the project will still provide economic benefits and jobs cannot be taken seriously given the admission by the Rugby Wind Farm representative last year that “not many” jobs would be available to Boorowa locals. Another example of the misinformation and deceit propagated by Suzlon/REpower.
Further, estimates of the magnitude of the economic stimulus are based on the assumption that the project will reach its 25 year lifespan. “When it is considered that Suzlon’s share price has been in free fall for most of the last 12 months, much like a number of other wind turbine developers, and the growing international government sentiment to do away with the unsustainable subsidies afforded to wind energy producers, why would anyone be confident that this company will even be around much longer, leaving broken promises, a divided community and misguided hosts in their wake? Add to this the cloud of illegality with respect to offers of so called community enhancement funds and the pressure on local Government it is intending to entice to remain silence, and you’re still left with one almighty headache for very little to no positive environmental return”, said landholder Mike Inkster from Yass.
Charlie Arnott-0412623422, Mike Inkster-0438269671, Sam McGuiness-0263855241
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