A south-west Victorian federal MP has backed calls to appoint a national wind farm ombudsman and says the potential health impacts of the industry should be taken seriously.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has written to Senate crossbenchers, offering to create the position if they support a Government push to include the burning of native wood waste in the Renewable Energy Target (RET).
A vote on the target is expected to go before Parliament today.
Wannon MP Dan Tehan said an independent regulator was necessary.
“If we have a monitor in place, it will enable these people to go to that monitor and to ensure that their concerns are being listened to,” he said.
“With the NHMRC [National Health and Medical Research Council] process, we’ll be able to use independent, scientific evidence to look at this issue and to see what, if anything, the Government needs to do.
“I think that that can be divorced from the Renewable Energy Target and what is happening
“It’s likely that there will be an agreement on a new RET that will see the amount of renewable energy in this country double, so I think it is only right and proper that the Government ensures those health concerns are addressed and looked into.”
However, a south-west wind tower manufacturer said scientific studies already showed wind farms did not cause any adverse health effects.
Steve Garner from Keppel Prince said the proof was already available.
“The experts are saying there’s no ill health effects that are known created from wind farms, I’d rather listen to the experts,” he said.
“If you isolate all of this and you look at the numbers of people who are complaining, it is a very, very small number but I’d even go a little step further and go and talk to the people who actually have wind farms on their property and there’s no ill effect from any of those.”
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