It was a full house at the Yass Memorial Hall on Friday to talk about the future of wind energy projects around the Hume electorate. Of the approximate 150 people who attended, the majority were against the establishment of wind farms.
Federal Member for Hume Angus Taylor and Member for Goulburn Pru Goward both attended the meeting that was hosted by a Rye Park group, attracting people from as far as Crookwell.
The development at the centre of discussion was the Rye Park Wind Farm project. Trustpower is proposing to erect 109 wind turbines, each 157 metres tall, with an approximate capacity of 327MW within the Rye Park area.
Ken Bell opened the meeting reminding people that these proposed turbines will be erected on Ngunnawal land and called for the crowd to respect each other's views on the sensitive subject.
Mr Taylor was asked to speak and although he mentioned no particular preference to support nor decline the wind farm proposal he reminded residents that ongoing development was up to them.
“Unfortunately with these topics you will never get a 100 per cent agreement,” he said, “but you have to figure out what you want and come together to have your voice heard.”
Ms Goward took a harder line opposing the developments, supporting the complaints about health, noise and land depreciation. She spoke about the developments being a result of the federal government and assured those present that they can’t legislate wind farms.
“Increasingly, I am on the view that there is some validity on the health effects,” she said.
“There are a number of people with health problems ... it is clearly not psychosomatic.”
She argued that securing and protecting residents from the turbines' noise pollution was important.
“They impact upon the landscape and have an immediate effect upon land value,” Ms Goward continued.
“I am with this community and plan on putting pressure on the state government.
“I want to look after the health, prosperity and look of this beautiful area. We have to make sure not to let these wind farms divide us.”
Ms Goward also called for further land value and environmental reports to be done.