Far north Queenslanders in the path of what would become the state’s biggest wind farm fear their television reception is being given greater consideration than their health and wellbeing.
THE Palaszczuk government last week approved the Mount Emerald Wind Farm at Walkamin, southwest of Cairns, which will include 63 wind turbines with 50-metre blades to power 75,000 homes for 20 years.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said strict conditions had been imposed on the $380 million project, but opponents claim there’s nothing to protect residents from potential impacts, including noise.
“There is nothing at all in the permit that would make anyone think it’s going to protect us … in fact our TV reception is given more consideration,” Tablelands Wind Turbine Action Group spokeswoman Lee Schwerdtfeger told AAP.
“There is not one mention of health and wellbeing and people’s ability to sleep.”
Ms Trad said the wind farm was subject to noise limits equal to, or better than, standards in other states.
But Ms Schwerdtfeger said the noise limits fell short of those applied to other industrial developments and it was unclear how they would be monitored.
The action group is seeking legal advice in a bid to stop the project and will also make representations to a senate inquiry into wind turbines, which is due to report its findings in June.
The wind farm, a joint venture between Ratch Australia and Port Bajool which will create 200 jobs, is subject to federal approval.
Wind farms have been promoted as an alternative to non-renewable forms of energy production.
Earlier this year, the National Health and Medical Research Council concluded there was no direct evidence that exposure to noise from wind farms affects physical or mental health.
But the agency is spending $2.5 million on further studies into wind farms and health.
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