Local opponents of the proposed Willatook wind farm near Hawkesdale are disputing the merits of a national survey that found most respondents think the visual impact of wind farms is acceptable.
Hawkesdale west farmer Ned Nagorcka, who has lived near the 140-turbine Macarthur wind farm for five years, said most of the respondents probably never lived near a wind farm.
Mr Nagorcka said he had first thought the Macarthur wind farm would not worry him but the noise from the turbines was disturbing.
But he said his main concern was the additional 200 planned and proposed wind turbines that will “inundate” his area and turn it from a rural landscape into an industrial one.
With another 102 turbines planned for Hawkesdale, Woolsthorpe and Ryan Corner, north of Port Fairy, and another 100 proposed for Willatook, Mr Nagorcka said he would be “stuck in the middle of them.”
He said much of the attraction of life on the land was getting away from an industrial landscape but the huge number of turbines would destroy that.
Mr Nagorcka said about 90 per cent of people in his area were against the proposed Willatook wind farm but the turbines were being forced upon the area by the state government “to get votes in Melbourne.”
Another opponent of the proposed Willatook wind farm, Paul Lewis, of Hawkesdale, said the survey was “light on” merit and he would not bother commenting on it.
The survey’s author, Dr Andrew Lothian, said the results showed the public were far more tolerant of wind farms than previously believed.
The survey involved 779 respondents throughout Australia who were asked to rate “the scenic quality” of nearly 49 scenes of wind farms in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, along with images of those scenes without wind farms.
While most respondents preferred the scenes without wind farms, most still found the farms’ visual impact acceptable.
In the responses to scenes of the Macarthur wind farm, 26 per cent found its scenic impact very acceptable, 40 per cent found it acceptable, 13.5 per cent were neutral, 12 per cent found it very unacceptable and nine per cent thought it unacceptable.
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