Strong support exists for wind farms, a Clean Energy Council survey has found.
CEC policy director Russell Marsh said more than 75 per cent of people surveyed – including those living near wind farms – said they supported wind power.
“The majority of people surveyed agreed that wind farms bring income to farmers and local businesses, and that governments shouldn’t get in the way of this,” Mr Marsh said.
The phone poll of 1200 people was conducted by QDOS and investigated wind farm perception of city and regional residents in NSW, Victoria and SA.
Mr Marsh said the results showed anti-wind activists were “out of step” with community thinking in calling for more regulations.
“No credible study has shown there is a direct link between wind power and health problems, but around 20 per cent of people felt there was a connection, with 59 per cent rejecting the idea,” Mr Marsh said.
“A follow-up question found that 83 per cent felt concerns about the health impacts of wind turbines would turn out to be nothing to worry about.
“While the genuine concerns of communities need to be addressed, this survey shows that those who oppose wind farms are a vocal minority who don’t reflect the overwhelming public support that exists for wind energy.”
Waubra Foundation chief executive Dr Sarah Laurie slammed the survey and said the CEC had “missed the point”.
“The growing concern in rural areas about wind energy is not about popular support or otherwise for wind energy,” she said.
“The concern is about inadequate planning and noise pollution laws and regulations which are not properly policed.
“This is resulting in rural residents being driven out of their homes by noise and vibration pollution, or left to suffer intolerably.”