Articles filed under Impact on People from Australia / New Zealand
Deep divisions have arisen across Victoria, with neighbour pitted against neighbour, as some land owners erect wind turbines on their properties - often 60m tall with 30m blades. It's pretty good money, sometimes $10,000 a turbine a year. In the midst of a drought, that can feed a family and send kids to school. But what of the neighbours?
Donald Thomas, said he hadn't yet moved away from his farm, but complained of "headaches, heart palpitations and high blood pressure" ever since the turbines were erected. "When the turbines don't run, the symptoms go away," Mr Thomas said. "It's torn the community apart."
A small group of wind farm opponents has mounted a protest on the steps of the Victorian Parliament, complaining of health problems caused by turbines. The Waubra residents say the 128-turbine wind farm in their community causes sleep deprivation, headaches, high blood pressure and heart palpitations.
Six wind energy companies have funded a new advertising campaign to highlight concerns the Victorian Opposition's wind farm policy will send projects interstate. A Coalition government would impose tougher restrictions on wind farm developments.
A farmer at Waubra, west of Ballarat, says people living near a wind farm could be getting sick because of the design of the turbines. Noel Dean says he has been forced out of his home because low-frequency noise from the 128 wind turbines.
Federal MP Rowan Ramsey is hoping one company's moves to turn off the lights at a mid-north South Australian wind farm will prompt other companies to investigate the idea. Complaints by Hallett residents prompted AGL to look into the wind farm's lighting requirements.
New Zealand Windfarms is standing by its compliance record for the Te Rere Hau wind farm near Palmerston North, despite more than 370 noise complaints in less than a year - more than a complaint a day. ...It's not yet clear if Palmerston North City Council will insist on more extensive testing, carry out its own tests, or consider legal action.
When Smeaton residents learnt in March 2007 of a plan to put up 15 wind turbines in the district, a line in the dirt was drawn. For the next three years, many friends became foes as the issue split the town in two. A wind-farm protest group, Spa Country Landscape Guardians, was formed and threatened legal action against any landholders taking up Wind Power's offer to put up turbines.
Among the issues raised in the submissions for Moorabool are environmental effects on flora and fauna, native vegetation, aviation lighting, visual impact and noise impacts. Mr Burn said health was a big issue with wind farm projects at the moment. There was a strong emphasis on it after the Waubra Wind Farm was built and operated.
Through the strange workings of state environmental policy, the drinking water which Sydney takes from the sea is directly connected to the industrial machines that keep Ruth Corrigan and her husband Roderick awake in their country cottage 180 kilometres away. The pair, both in their late 60s, live next to the Capital Wind Farm at Bungendore with its 67 huge turbines.
Mighty River Power is opposing a proposed noise limit for the Turitea Wind Farm near Palmerston North, despite two of its experts signing up. If the experts get their way, people who live in quiet areas near the proposed wind farm will benefit from a noise limit of 35 decibels or 5dBA above the background sound level, whichever is greater.
The Western Plains Landscape Guardians group has accused the state Member for Ripon, Joe Helper, of not listening to people's concerns about wind farms. The group put an advertisement in a Maryborough newspaper, saying Mr Helper spends too much time outside his electorate.
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.
A resident furious about the spread of wind farms has warned of dire consequences if major developments proceed. Annie Gardner lives on a property east of Macarthur and formed a local Landscape Guardians group in 2005 after Southern Hydro announced plans to build Australia's largest wind farm on her boundary.
Building wind farms and "protecting" the environment do not sit comfortably together, as she claims. When remnant native vegetation is in the way of turbine sites and their extensive associated infrastructure, wind power companies simply blast or bulldoze their way through it. (If you remain unconvinced, go and look for yourself at what is happening along the Waterloo Range).
The Energy and Resources Minister, Peter Batchelor says the State Government is prepared to investigate fears that noise from wind turbines is causing health problems. Some residents near the Waubra wind farm, west of Ballarat say a low-frequency noise from the turbines is making them sick.
The Australian Landscape Guardians group is calling for federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett to take responsibility for the placement of wind turbines. People living near the Waubra wind farm, west of Ballarat, say the noise from the turbines is making them sick.
The operators of Waubra Wind Farm have bought the property of one of their most vocal critics. Acciona Energy announced the purchase of Trish and Victor Godfrey's five-acre property yesterday for an undisclosed amount. Managing director Brett Thomas said the decision to buy the Godfreys' property followed lengthy discussions with the couple over the visual impact of turbines on their property.
Meridian Energy may have found a solution to the noise generated by its Makara wind farm, which continues to generate more than 100 complaints each month. ...Wellington City Council noise compliance manager Matthew Borich said 133 complaints were received in November, 105 in December and 39 in January. It was not unusual to receive more than 100 a month.
One-time wind farm advocate Donald Thomas now believes turbines are affecting the health of those who live or work in the area. Picture: van der Klooster The noise of turbines could carry all the way to Clunes if the Waubra South wind farm extension goes ahead, Evansford resident Donald Thomas says. Mr Thomas joined about 60 wind farm opponents at a meeting at Evansford Community Centre last week to draw attention to the health issues they say the turbines create.