June 16, 2012

Complaints at Windy Hill: Wind farm noise order

Tony Stickley | The Weekend Post | 16 June 2012

The operator of a 20-turbine wind farm at Windy Hill near Ravenshoe has been told to check noise levels at neighbouring properties.

Under the conditions for approval imposed by the old Herberton Shire Council in 1999, noise monitoring was supposed to be carried out periodically.

In April, the Tablelands Regional Council told the operators of the wind farm, Ratch Australia, that “council officers cannot find evidence which confirms that the requirements of these conditions have been complied with”.

Their finding follows a complaint last year from a local resident about noise from the turbines.

Ratch was then told to carry out a three-month monitoring of the local resident’s property.

Its expert’s noise report, which the council recently received, has been forwarded to the TRC’s own acoustic consultants for peer review.

The report is not yet publicly available.

According to last week’s council minutes, councillors told officials to ensure the outstanding monitoring of other dwellings in the vicinity of the wind farm was carried out “in a timely manner”.

A council spokesperson said: “We have told Ratch to go out and do the monitoring of the other dwellings which was part of the original approval.”

Mayor Rosa Lee Long said the TRC had been in control since 2008 and could only take responsibility since that time.

Ratch Australia’s CEO Steve Loxton said his company would provide information on monitoring.

However, he added: “We are confident the wind farm is operating within the requirements of its permit conditions.”

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2012/06/16/complaints-at-windy-hill-wind-farm-noise-order/