Delegates attending the NSW Farmers’ Association Annual Conference have supported calls for more research into the noise and health impacts of wind turbines on surrounding communities.
The Bodangora Wind Turbine Awareness Group (BWTAG) submitted a motion to last week’s conference with delegates agreeing the government should carry out comprehensive tests on wind turbines and the potential risks they could bring to the region.
“It’s fantastic news, it’ll bring to light all the problems we’re facing. It’s great to have the strength of the NSW Farmers’ behind us,” BWTAG member Lyn Jarvis said.
Mrs Jarvis believes the plans have been wrongly rubber stamped.
“We have learnt things through the Wind Farm Network and there are lots of issues besides visual amenities,” Mrs Jarvis said.
“A lot of information is being suppressed and debunked by Infigen.”
However, Infigen development manager Frank Boland believes there won’t be a problem with the facility and the planning should go ahead.
“It’s clean, renewable energy. The layout is taken into account and NSW has the strictest noise standards in the world,” Mr Boland said.
“We’ve received strong support from local towns with wind farms (down south),” he said, “we’ve seen an increase in business and prosperity and it brings in tourism.”
Mrs Jarvis disagrees. She’s corresponded with residents in towns already hosting wind turbine farms and they’re less than impressed.
“We get emails from people dealing with Infigen, it’s great support but it’s so sad,” she said.
The BWTAG has been requesting testing be carried out locally and on other wind turbines to ensure there are no health risks, risks to native flora and fauna or agricultural issues.
Despite providing Infigen with experts and studies, she said the research had been ignored.
“It doesn’t matter how many flaws we have found, apparently they’re not listening,” Mrs Jarvis said. “We produced Steven Cooper, a highly credentialled acoustician and they ignored him, they disregarded our flora and fauna expert.”
The facility’s economic value is also being questioned.
“Angus Taylor, our economic expert, believes wind farms aren’t viable and all those billions of dollars, which are going to overseas companies, could be going to hospitals, schools and roads,” Mrs Jarvis said.
The town is hosting a Planning Assement Committee meeting later this month after the assessment period saw 165 submissions about the project with 94 per cent oppposing it.
“Landowners can speak out. It’s the first time where we can hear people’s stories,” Mrs Jarvis said.
“We’re just regular people trying to fight these monsters.”
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