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Bad news on wind turbine noise

The Mount Emerald wind farm developers should be ashamed. They have released an impact assessment for public comment, including an updated noise report that proposes noise levels even higher than their original plan.

Commenting on the original plan, the Council’s noise expert stated that at night residents would hear wind farm noise on a consistent basis. He stated that individuals susceptible to sleep disturbance or low frequency pressure variations will be affected up to 3km away, and residents at greater distances may also be affected. He recommended the wind farm should NOT be approved as it couldn’t meet Queensland’s noise regulations.

So why have the developers submitted an even noisier plan? They expect our community to endure noise which would not be permitted for any other industrial project in rural Queensland including mines, factories, refineries and power plants.

We want to know our families will be safe from the effects of noise from industrial wind turbines. Unfortunately, at this stage, the National Health and Medical Research Council can offer us no guarantees. The only Australian research accepted for review by the Research Council reports on the adverse health effects (including sleep disturbance, tinnitus, headaches) being experienced by residents living within 10km of large turbines. These reports are consistent with the findings of two other surveys conducted at Australian wind farm sites. Some Australian families have been forced to leave their homes as they can no longer tolerate the noise and vibration from large-scale turbines, such as the ones proposed for Mt Emerald. More information can be found here: www.waubrafoundation.org.au

Now is your first and last opportunity to comment on the wind farm’s social, economic and environmental impacts by making a submission about the developers’ reports, see: (www.mtemeraldwindfarm.com.au/pages/technical_eis_docs.html) Be warned: there are thousands of pages to read and the developers have only given us until 2 July 2014 to make submissions. You must make sure your views are heard, and copy your comments to the Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney (deputypremier@ministerial.qld.gov.au).

We are not happy with the developer’s consultation process so we have posted surveys to property owners within 5km of the Mount Emerald site. A substantial number have been returned but there are still some outstanding. If you haven’t had a chance to return your form or you’ve lost yours, please contact tablelandswta@gmail.com or phone 4093 4392 for assistance. Even if you have filled out a survey, make sure you write a separate submission on the developer’s impact assessment.

Stephen Lavis
Tablelands Wind Turbine Action