Re the well attended Wind Farm Forum at Bacchus Marsh on 13th June, I wish to raise a few important points. There was a strong consensus from nearly all the participants that the production of renewable energy is a necessary step we must take to meet our future energy needs. It may have come as a surprise to a few of the activists who have branded us luddites and anti-wind energy people.
The problem I have is the way in which the project in our district, West Wind’s Moorabool Wind Energy Facility was approved by the Brumby Government. Community concern was ignored; the boundary of the wind farm is 3.5 Kms from the main street of Ballan. As sure as night follows day, there will be people living in Ballan and surrounding areas who will be adversely affected by living in such close proximity to 150 metre high turbines. There is an urgent need for independent health studies to done to prevent us from becoming collateral damage.
The acoustician at the meeting, Dr Steve Cooper gave a very detailed lecture on the intricacies of sound perceptions and testing methods. He stated that studies are required to determine the cause of complaints of ill health by people who attribute it to living too close to turbines. It needs a multi discipline approach, areas of investigation being the following:
• Sleep studies
• Brainwave stress
• Blood analysis
• Stress levels
• Acoustic measurement
Until this is done no wind energy companies should be allowed to put turbines any closer that 2 Kms from peoples’ dwellings. We need fair and honest negotiations with the companies. The easier option would be for West Wind to listen to the rural residents and try to make our lives easier. This would go a long away towards avoiding expensive litigation. If it takes an act of Parliament to change the situation and make the VC82 Amendment retrospective to protect all of us from potential ill health, this should be done. We just need someone with the courage and political will to do so.
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