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Protect small towns  

Credit:  Letters to the Editor – August 3, 2018 | The Standard | August 3 2018 | www.standard.net.au ~~

The main aim of the government’s affordable housing policy is to relieve the problem of homelessness. Yet the government is prepared to risk the viability of the small town of Hawkesdale, where affordable housing is in abundance, by approving a wind farm just 1 km from the town. The plan is to install a wind farm consisting of 28 turbines. These turbines, with flashing red lights for aviation purposes, are 180 metres tall, three times the height of the West Gate bridge and can be heard as far five kilometres away. I am in favour of the Victorian Government’s renewable energy policies including the development of wind farms but more consideration needs to be given to siting them away from small towns. The town of Hawkesdale has a population of 432 people. 116 of these are families with an average of two children each. There are 165 houses, approximately 20 per cent are rental properties. Hawkesdale offers affordable housing and rentals, for those who are finding it too expensive to live in regional towns such as Warrnambool. Surely Hawkesdale is a good example of what the government is referring to when it talks about affordable housing. Hawkesdale has many services to offer to its community. It has a highly regarded P12 school with 215 students drawn from a wide catchment. There is a childcare centre, kindergarten and maternal health service for young mothers. Other services include a post office, hotel, farm merchandise store, swimming pool and sporting clubs. Evidence gathered from Macarthur, Cape Bridgewater and many overseas wind farms, indicates that a minimum of 10-20 per cent of the population may be affected by the low frequency noise transmitted by wind turbines located within 3 kms of their homes. Moyne Shire has had many complaints from people who live near Macarthur wind farm. Residents have complained of sleep disruption, headaches, ear and head pressure, dizziness and depression. At a meeting held recently in Hawkesdale attended by approximately 140 people, many voiced their concern about placing a wind farm so close to Hawkesdale. At the panel meeting to approve the increase in the height of the turbines a report on the socio- economic impact of the wind farm on the people of Hawkesdale, was not presented even though it was a requirement. It appears the health and welfare of the residents are of little significance. With affordable housing in such short supply and rental prices at an all time high what will happen to Hawkesdale residents (some having lived in Hawkesdale all their lives) if they are forced by ill health to leave the area? When Hawkesdale no longer attracts people who want to live cheaply in peaceful surrounds, people will be unable to sell their houses for a reasonable price, how then will those who are forced to leave survive the trauma of trying to relocate if they have lost the equity in their only asset? To quote one very distressed person at the recent meeting “what am I supposed to do?”

Margaret McCosh, Hawkesdale

Source:  Letters to the Editor – August 3, 2018 | The Standard | August 3 2018 | www.standard.net.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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