The Legislative Council has overwhelmingly agreed to expand the powers of a parliamentary inquiry investigating the impact of wind farms in South Australia.
SA already has more wind farms than any other State, with dozens of new proposals in the pipeline or fully approved for construction and connection.
“Some of these wind farms are close to inhabited areas,” inquiry chair David Ridgway said.
“There is a legal precedent set in the Federal Court which shows a wind farm can devalue neighbouring properties.
“We need to know how much can be wiped off people’s investment in their home and property by new wind turbines being built nearby.
“Following the Federal Court decision, which showed one rural property was worth 33 per cent less because of a proposed wind farm. The turbine hadn’t even been built. The mere fact that the wind farm had been proposed was enough to drive down property prices.
“Do people need to be protected from such a dramatic loss? Could residents or primary producers end up owing the bank more than their house or property is worth after devaluation?
“We want the committee to answer those questions, and we’ll be asking expert witnesses to come forward.
“The expanded terms of reference – that is, an assessment of the impact of wind farms on property values – will equip us much better as we try to understand what wind farms do to power prices, network demand, infrastructure requirements and local jobs.”
The committee will next meet on 24 April in the Plaza Room at Parliament House.
Contact: David Ridgway 0412 854 055
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