A key argument for the creation of the REpower/Suzlon/Ceres mega wind farm on Yorke Peninsula is it will bring an economic boost to the region.
The current cost of building the wind farm is estimated at $1.3billion, so clearly there would be an expectation some of this huge investment might stay in the region.
For instance, Ceres claim the project will generate at least 50 new jobs in the region.
However, the workers who look after wind turbines are generally specialists who are brought in from other places.
That is they are fly-in fly-out workers who are likely not to be based on Yorke Peninsula. So how will they contribute to the economy of the region?
REpower/Suzlon/Ceres have said they are intending to “sell on” their investment in the wind turbines and vacate the site once the building is complete. Who will then be taking responsibility for the possible ongoing long-term negative economic and social impacts of the project on the Yorke Peninsula region?
Definitely not REpower/Suzlon/Ceres as they will have gone elsewhere.
There are likely to be many negative impacts of the wind farm but if the rural/seaside location becomes a stark industrial landscape occupied by massive wind turbines then clearly, one impact in particular, will be a reduction in local tourism.
Given the importance of this activity to the whole region, a negative economic impact is likely to be considerable.
I hate to think what might be the impact if there is a stage 2 and stage 3 of the wind farm, potentially covering the rest of the peninsula.
Perhaps we will all need to leave then and leave it to the turbines.
Dr Jo Caust, Sheaoak Flat
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