Farmers are protesting on Thursday outside a private meeting between the NSW Government and a major wind farm developer at Yass.
The NSW Government Office of Environment and Heritage and developer Epuron are meeting at 2pm at the Yass Soldiers Club. Protesters are gathering at the same venue at 1.30pm.
Convenor and Bookham sheep grazier Mark Glover says the government is actively promoting wind farm development at the expense of local communities.
Epuron’s Yass Valley Wind Farm is in the final stages of planning, and comprises up to 152 turbines with capacity potentially for more than 300 megawatts.
Epuron’s website says it aims to also develop medium and large-scale PV systems under the ACT Solar feed-in tariff.
Mr Glover says the government is helping the developers and not listening to the residents who have to put up with them.
“I mean the Office of Environment and Heritage? They (wind farms) are destroying the environment and heritage value of the area.”‘
He said proponents argue only 90 residents will be located within five kilometres of the turbines, yet anecdotal evidence suggested environmental impacts would be felt 10 kilometres away.
This would involve the rural communities of Binalong and Bowning.
“The most frustrating thing about this whole issue is how secretive the developer has been as well as the Government.”
He said no proper research into health risks had been done, and wind farms raised other issues..
“We just had a bushfire through and these turbines increase that risk. They also stop aerial bombing. Helicopters and stuff can’t fly within a kilometre of them.
“It obviously impacts on property values. People have mortgages on their properties and if the land values drop, those loans could be called in.
“The thing that really gets my goat is it actually doesn’t save any carbon dioxide. These windfarms are so unreliable.”
While the NSW Government is nurturing the industry, according to protesters at Yass, the Liberal Party’s candidate for Hume Angus Taylor is urging his party to back off supporting wind farms.
The Rhodes Scholar and management consultant says the renewable energy target should be overhauled because it is an inefficient way of reducing greenhouse gases.
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