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MPs sleep over near wind farms

Rival politicians face a long night as they sleep out in an abandoned house to test the noise effects of wind farms in South Australia’s mid-north.

The house at Waterloo has been abandoned for months since the owner left, complaining noise from the wind farm five kilometers away had become unbearable.

Tonight, Liberal MP David Ridgeway, Labor MP Russell Wortley and Greens MP Mark Parnell will be sleeping over at the house after a day of listening to the community in their roles on the Parliamentary Committee into the effects of wind power.

Three years ago, 37 turbines were installed just outside Waterloo and since then residents have cited health problems and sleepless nights.

“We are paying the price for green energy in our region,” local mayor Allan Aughey said.

The politicians are hoping their sleep-out will yield answers.

“We won’t be able to experience the sort of long-term effects that people have to deal with everyday, but we’re hoping to get some idea,” said Russell Wortley.

David Ridgeway said: “The fact that some people are affected and some aren’t, it’s a bit like car sickness, so I don’t know what we’ll experience tonight.”

Greens MP Mark Parnell said he had no problems when he camped directly under a turbine in May.

“Well I’m as fit and healthy today as I was when I slept under these turbines a month or so ago,” Mr Parnell said.
The committee’s report will be finished by the end of the year.