Articles filed under Impact on People from Australia / New Zealand
The Nationals Member for Burrinjuck, Katrina Hodgkinson, has welcomed the findings of the Parliamentary Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms, which were released recently, and said the report addresses many of the concerns held by local communities. "The proliferation of Industrial Wind Power Stations in the region of the Burrinjuck electorate is of concern to many local residents," Ms Hodgkinson said.
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.
The Pyrenees Shire Mayor, David Clarke, says community concern about wind farms is intensifying. ...He says people are concerned that if the farm gets approved, they may experience some of the same health issues being reported by residents who live near the Waubra wind farm.
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.
About 80 wind farm opponents gathered in western Victoria yesterday to discuss the health effects of wind turbines. The meeting at Evansford was organised by the Pyrenees Landscape Guardians.
Wind farm policy is shaping as a turbulent federal election issue in Moorabool. Endorsed Liberal candidate Mark Banwell has called for a moratorium on building more wind farms until more details are known about their impact on peoples health. While Ballarat federal Labor MP Catherine King acknowledged residents concerns, she said presently the approval of wind farms rested with state and territory governments.
Pyrenees Shire Council will challenge the State Government that it is not responsible for enforcing Waubra Wind Farm's permit conditions. After months of negotiations, council has legal advice saying the government is the responsible authority. Council will meet with Planning Minister Justin Madden early next month, with a delegation from other regional councils that could be affected by the outcome.
Wind farms can cause significant health problems for nearby residents, a draft report by specialist consultants says. The leaked report, once completed, could potentially open the door to litigation by affected residents. The finding is believed to be the first of its kind in Australia, although The Weekly Times understands a court case in the UK will also hear allegations of serious health impacts from residents near wind farms.
Following a six-month investigation, findings from a parliamentary inquiry into rural wind farms were released last week, which included recommending more community consultation on developments and a two-kilometre setback from dwellings. The General Purpose Standing Committee made 21 recommendations including research into compensation options for affected residents, the consideration of local government development control plans, noise modelling.
A Western Victorian MP wants the construction of wind turbines near homes and businesses stopped, until an investigation into their health effects has been completed. Democratic Labor Party MLC Peter Kavanagh asked the Planning Minister in Parliament this week to impose a moratorium.
Wind power - the great green hope to ease fragile electricity supply - is being buffetted from all sides. Wind farm neighbours, courts and economics are hammering away at plans to expand the industry which now provides around 3 per cent of our power but is forecast to grow to 20 per cent within the next 15 years. Wind's main proponent, state-owned Meridian Energy, is likely within the next few days to announce it will fight an Environment Court ruling which killed off one of the biggest wind farms in the world.
Makara residents are lodging about 100 complaints a month over a Meridian Energy wind farm, leading the company to look at ways to make the turbines quieter. The energy giant monitors noise levels at four sites at the West Wind farm, and is subject to stringent resource consent rules. That data is also analysed by Wellington City Council. Compliance manager Matthew Borich said the council would not be able to say with certainty until next year whether the project was breaking any restrictions.
It was always going to be one of the biggest things to hit Otago, whether you were for Project Hayes or against it. So it was no surprise it took two hearings to reach a decision on whether Meridian Energy could build its $2 billion wind farm on the Lammermoor Range. Two thousand pages of evidence were presented at the first hearing in Alexandra, held over 20 days from May to July 2007, with approval announced on October 31, 2007. But those opposed to the 176-turbine proposal appealed, saying they wanted a second shot at protecting precious Central Otago hinterland.
An engineering lecturer given the task of monitoring noise levels around the Waubra Wind Farm says there needs to be a thorough independent investigation by the State Government. University of Ballarat engineering lecturer Graeme Hood has spent time at Waubra monitoring sound levels in the area to determine the nature of sound emitted by the wind farm. Mr. Hood commenced the research in September in response to complaints from a number of residents.
Colin Patterson, NP Power
The potential health impacts of living near wind turbines will be the subject of further investigation by a New South Wales Parliament inquiry into rural wind farms. Two further hearing days begin today at State Parliament to explore issues raised during regional hearings at Tamworth and Goulburn.
University of Ballarat engineering lecturer Graeme Hood said the Victorian Government should commission a comprehensive independent investigation to determine exact levels of inaudible sound produced, after his own study proved inconclusive. ...Mr Hood said his research found that an audible swishing noise emitted by the turbines ranged between 60dB, or the equivalent of conversational speech, and 80dB, or the equivalent of average street traffic.
A Tamworth public inquiry into wind farms in the northern tablelands has heard the developments do not comply with local planning guidelines. The New South Wales Planning Department has bypassed local government controls to push the projects through. A number of residents told the inquiry that noise and vibrations from the turbines will force them to move if the projects go ahead in their current form.
Over the seven weeks, commissioners, lawyers, court staff, noise experts, landscape architects, ecological experts, social researchers, engineers and even the press were paid to be in the room. Submitters, on the other hand, were spending time away from work, some of them using up annual leave – something they pointed out when Mighty River Power effectively extended the process by embarking on its redesign. The power company's concession – one of the most significant developments from the hearing so far – followed stinging criticism of the planned farm's visual impact.
The State Government will investigate the health concerns of Victorians who live near wind farms. Last month, the Democratic Labor Party Member for Western Victorian, Peter Kavanagh, asked the Government to investigate whether workers near wind farms faced health hazards. Some landholders near the Waubra wind farm, west of Ballarat, say a low frequency hum from the turbines is making them sick.