The federal Coalition yesterday revealed it would back a proposed crackdown on noise from wind farms.
In a surprise development, the opposition’s energy spokesman Ian Macfarlane confirmed broad support for a bill introduced by independent senator Nick Xenophon and Democratic Labor Party counterpart John Madigan that would stop wind farms that exceeded normal background noise by more than 10 decibels.
But it will propose an amendment to require an independent National Health and Medical Research Council research program into the potential health effects of wind farms.
The NHMRC did a “rapid review” of wind turbines and health in 2010 and is now doing a systematic review of the scientific literature to look at the impacts on human health.
Mr Macfarlane said if the independent research program the opposition was proposing was beyond the capacity of the NHMRC, the amendment would require an independent panel to study the impact of the projects.
Mr Macfarlane said the Coalition remained committed to the RET and was a supporter of wind energy. He said wind farms would not be affected by the proposed crackdown so long as their operations complied with permits in relation to noise.