The State Government is under pressure to review the permit conditions for Queensland’s largest proposed wind farm, in the state’s far north, after the release of a Senate committee report on the industry.
In its report this week, the committee makes 15 recommendations designed to strengthen regulation and monitoring around wind farms, including setting up a new Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Industrial Sound.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said the Government would not be making changes to the Renewable Energy Target legislation and it was already appointing a commissioner to investigate complaints about wind turbines.
Lee Schwerdtfeger from the Tablelands Wind Turbine Action Group said the federal and state governments should heed the Senate committee’s recommendations.
“We’re very worried about the Mount Emerald permit conditions and the scale of developments such as Mount Emerald,” she said.
“They’ve affected the health and wellbeing of residents in Australia and overseas and we heard in the Senate inquiry that some families are so badly affected by noise that they had to leave their homes and we don’t want that to happen here.”
She said it would welcome national guidelines on wind farms.
“We really want to the State Government to review the permit conditions they’ve put on Mount Emerald because they’re so badly written they can’t be legally enforced and the Government’s taken poor advice and they haven’t listened to the Government’s own experts, so we feel that if the Federal Government can place proper conditions on these developments that they won’t be causing problems in communities in future,” she said.
Mount Emerald Wind Farm proponent Ratch Australia said it was still considering the report and would not comment at this time.