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Anti-turbine noise push gets a hearing with MPs

Anti-wind farm campaigners across the south-west are gathering political support for their fight against wind farms.

Both state and federal politicians have met with residents living near the massive Macarthur wind farm and a smaller proposed complex near Mortlake south.

Member for Wannon Dan Tehan last week told The Standard he believed residents were suffering health effects living alongside 140 turbines in Macarthur.

Member for the state seat of Polwarth, Terry Mulder, also met with Mortlake south residents who are accusing developer Acciona of producing fraudulent wind noise data, which they fear will lead to above-standard noise levels.

Next week state Upper House MP Simon Ramsay will meet with both groups.

Speaking to The Standard yesterday, Mr Ramsay said there were enough people fronting his electoral office with health problems to suggest something was not right.

“This can’t all be psychological. I’m not a clinician … but there’s been enough people coming to me so there must be something in it,” Mr Ramsay said.

“I have raised the issue of compliance of noise standards with the planning minister Matthew Guy.” Mr Ramsay has previously campaigned against a planned wind farm near his own rural property near Birregurra and sparked controversy in 2012 after apparently using his political position to influence the permit.

The anti-turbine campaigners were angered by the recent release of a report by the South Australian EPA which rejects claims that sub-audible infrasound was behind health problems.

“There is debate over whether there is subsonic noise and it mainly seems to be in south-west Victoria,” Mr Ramsay said.

Some residents living alongside the Macarthur wind farm say they are now considering selling their homes and moving away because of the health effects of infrasound from the turbines.

South West Coast member Denis Napthine said it was a federal government responsibility to produce research on the health effects.

“I support the need for the federal government to do some more research into the allegations of health issues associated with close proximity to wind farms,” Dr Napthine said.

He said he supported renewable energy and conceded the issue had caused divisions in his own electorate.

“The important thing is to do the science.”