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Wind farm plan appeal rights boosted

The South Australian Government has finalised changes which set out how wind farms are approved and developed.

It received almost 300 public submissions on its plan.

Former premier Mike Rann had announced interim measures last year, in a bid to unlock investment.

Attorney-General John Rau thinks the changes to the planning rules now strike the right balance.

“People who do want to develop these wind generation programs will not be unduly hampered by this policy change, but the people in the more populated areas, including townships, will have greater rights to be heard,” he said.

The reforms discourage wind farm developments in valuable environmental and scenic areas, including the Flinders Ranges, McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley and along the Murray.

Opposition planning spokesman David Ridgway said turbine noise was an issue raised frequently during consultation and should have been dealt with in the final plan.

“I know that the EPA (Environment Protection Authority) has no guidelines for infrasound and we have got a select committee that we’re looking into wind farms and that’s one of the areas we’d like to explore, but look you know it’s a step in the right direction,” he said.

The interim policy had imposed a one-kilometre buffer between turbines and isolated dwellings and Mr Ridgway said he was pleased the rules had now been altered, giving appeal rights to third parties affected by turbines installed within two kilometres of buildings, tourist accommodation, airfields or townships.

“These are big structures that are seen from a long distance away and if they were going to be close to somebody’s house they have every right to lodge an appeal,” he said.

(noun) a sound with a frequency too low to be heard by the human ear; of significance in the monitoring of earthquakes
– Macquarie Dictionary