Impact on People and Australia / New Zealand
The Pyrenees Landscape Guardians group wants the responsible agencies to join forces and research the effects of the Waubra wind farm.
Some residents near the facility complain that noise from the turbines is making them ill.
The Wellington City Council has asked the company behind a new wind farm at Makara to report on noise issues after receiving more than 750 complaints.
Meridian Energy's Project West Wind, which opened in April last year, has 62 turbines in the area around the settlement.
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Council CEO John Brak says it has now negotiated an amended application with the company.
"Primarily to ensure that no wind turbine was within two kilometres of affected dwellings," he said. ...Two local residents are still pursuing an appeal against the development, with a court hearing scheduled for next month.
Upper Lachlan Council will ask the State Government to take "urgent action" to prevent some families from being virtually forced off their properties and homes by proposed wind farms at Gullen Range and Taralga.
These families have been given the choice to accept the close proximity of turbines to their homes, or to sell out to the developers.
Possible cumulative effects of both Trustpower's Mahinerangi wind farm and Meridian Energy's proposed $2 billion Project Hayes development will be no more than minor, an Environment Court hearing was told yesterday.
Hearing of an appeal against Meridian's Project Hayes development resumed at Queenstown yesterday.
Media baron and former All Blacks captain David Kirk has paid for a full-page advertisement in one of his own newspapers backing high-profile critics of a massive Central Otago windfarm.
The advertisement in the Escape section of today's Sunday Star-Times headlined "100% Vandalism," features a defaced version of a landscape painting by artist and windfarm critic Grahame Sydney.
Kirk, who heads Fairfax Australia, which owns a stable of papers in New Zealand, told the Star-Times he was happy to be publicly associated with the campaign against state-owned Meridian Energy's $1.5 billion windfarm proposal.
"I personally paid for the ad. It's a personal contribution," he said. ...The Environment Court is considering appeals against Project Hayes.
When the remaining turbines are switched on in the coming weeks Waubra will become home to the world's largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere with 128 turbines.
However debate continues to rage in communities where proposals for wind turbines are met with strong anger and hostile community meetings.
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) studied the purported ill effects of the wind turbines on health before reporting that there was no evidence that the turbines' low frequency noise or shadow flicker made people ill. ...Campaigners against the farms are still not convinced.
"It's like no other noise you have ever heard," he said describing it as a strong whooshing sound that persists with a westerly wind. "That's about 90 per cent of the year."
South Australian farmer Andy Thomas lives near six turbines at Mt Bryan. In an affidavit in a case against the wind farm, Mr Thomas said the turbine noise was like a jet passing overhead.
Dr Sarah Laurie, medical director of the newly formed Waubra Foundation, has forwarded to executives of Hepburn Wind a letter she wrote to Premier John Brumby, in which she says she's shocked at the extent and severity of symptoms in patients she has encountered with "wind farm sickness".
A doctor campaigning on the claimed health impacts of wind farms has called for a halt to construction of wind turbines within 10 kilometres of housing until independent research is conducted.
She said research was needed, particularly on the impact of infrasound - sound below the level of normal human hearing.
He says the Senate committee has approached the inquiry with an open mind, but "certainly there are people whose health has deteriorated to the stage that they have had to move out at a complete loss to themselves". ...this is not a community backlash that can be dismissed as being rooted in climate change denial or greed.
THE security of Victoria's electricity supply is under a cloud after the emergence of threats to the operation of some of the state's key generators.
In an unprecedented development, power companies have been forced to buy emergency supplies of water on the internet after the drought left them short of what they need to run major generators in the Latrobe Valley................A recent investigation by Wyndham City Council found "the operation of the gas-fuelled turbines adversely affects theamenity of the area by way of low-frequency noise and vibration".
In an interview with The Australian in Canberra yesterday, Mr Garrett [the Environment Minister] said he was worried by the number of wind farm proposals that had been refused because of objections by the local community.
"Australians have got to realise the time has come to embrace wind and wind farms in appropriate locations, bearing in mind they are going to be visible on the landscape -- that a 'not in my back yard' kind of mentality won't see us rolling out the deployment of wind that we need," Mr Garrett said.
The amendment reforms the way wind farms can be approved and prohibits a wind turbine being constructed within two kilometres of an existing dwelling, unless there is written consent from the owner of the dwelling.
The Resource Management Act states clearly in section six of ‘purposes and principles' that matters of national importance include the protection of historic heritage and outstanding natural features and landscapes from ‘inappropriate subdivision, use and development'. Both the consent authority's commissioned Landscape Architect Ben Espie and Planner David Whitney thought so, suggesting formally that Project Hayes should be declined. Barrister John Matthews, who chaired the Hearing panel and issued a dissenting decision recommending that Hayes be turned down, thought so too. Yet the All-of-Government submissions in support of Hayes evidently held sway, for Project Hayes was given consent in November 2007, with the decision ‘owned' by Central Otago District Council.
The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) is using noise testing near a Clare Valley wind farm to determine whether local residents' claims about health impacts are valid. ...Peter Dolan from the EPA says 57 residents will also be keeping 'noise diaries' to document their own experiences.
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Nevil Hegley, of Hegley Acoustics, was called to give further evidence in rebuttal of submissions made by project opponent Sean Cox and spent much of his 90-minute address discrediting Mr Cox's statements. He concluded there was no valid noise-related reason to decline the application.
"You will never hear the turbines under any conditions in Raglan," he said under questioning from the commissioners.
However, his assurance didn't impress opposing submitters.
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A court finding in Ontario, Canada, that "the debate should not be simplified to one about whether wind turbines can cause harm to humans.
"The evidence presented . . . . demonstrates that they can, if facilities are placed too close to residents.
"The debate has now evolved to one of degree."
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Experts could be summonsed to the Turitea Wind Farm board of inquiry as acoustic consultants argue over whether a new noise standard will be effective in protecting nearby residents.
One expert, Philip Dickinson, has broken ranks with acoustic experts on the appropriateness of the new standard and has been scathing about potential negative health effects, including sleep disruption.
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