The woman who owns the closest property to the Mount Emerald wind farm and staunchly opposed its construction has launched an almost $2m lawsuit or demanded the turbines be shut down at night.
Walkamin business owner Jennifer Disley (above right) has claimed the value of her 43ha property has plummeted and the turbine noise goes above standard Operational Noise Requirement limits and is affecting her health, in documents recently filed in the Cairns Supreme Court.
Ms Disley – whose house is 1.87km from one of the 53 turbines – was so concerned about the wind farm prior to when it began operation in 2018 that she became a certified noise surveyor and a member of the Tablelands Wind Turbine Action Group. She is jointly suing both the operators of the farm and Marshall Day Acoustics, which she claimed had been “misleading or deceptive” in its noise reports to allow the development to proceed.
In the claim, her legal representatives have demanded an injunction to stop the wind farm operating between 8pm and 7am, and otherwise run in reduced power (low noise) mode during the day.
“The plaintiff has been suffering loss and damage since August 2018 when the turbines started operating,” the claim said.
“In all the circumstances, the noise generated by the operation of the wind turbines by the (wind farm) is excessive and has caused, and will continue to cause, pain and suffering, particularly involving sleep deprivation and future consequential harm, annoyance and discomfort.”
However, a spokesman from RATCH-Australia, which owns the wind farm, said it would defend the claim.
“Our position is that noise monitoring carried out by a reputable acoustic consultancy demonstrates that the wind farm is in full compliance with Development Approval conditions regarding noise,” the spokesman said.
“We strongly dispute the complainant’s allegations and will defend this claim.”
Ms Disley’s claim said people exposed to the noise had reported earache, tinnitus, headaches, accelerated heart rate, muscle cramps, sleep disturbance and long-term sleep deprivation.
Ms Disley operates Walkamin Enterprises and her property can accommodate up to 42 people in five separate dwellings aside from her own – typically people working on nearby farms.
In lieu of the injunction, the claim calls for damages of $1.8m related to diminished value of the land and business and $50,000 for loss of use and enjoyment of house and dwellings.
A further $100,000 is claimed for aggravated damages.
A court date is yet to be set and RATCH-Australia is yet to file any documents.
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