Library filed under Impact on People from Australia / New Zealand
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.
From the top of canola-rich Stockyard Hill, Gary Tayler sees no problem. Green energy company Wind Power plans to build Victoria's biggest wind farm - 282 turbines - in his patch west of Ballarat. He wants 22 of them on his property. ..."We couldn't see any reason why we wouldn't do it," Mr Tayler says. "Most of the turbines will go on to what is stone country. When a situation like this that is not going to interrupt what we're doing comes along, why not take it?" Cassie Franzose is on the other side of the fence, literally and figuratively. From behind the stone walls of the Federation-era property Mawallok, she says wind farms have their place, just not here.
In October 2006, Palmerston North City Council and Horowhenua District Council received land use consent applications from Motorimu Wind Farm Limited to construct, operate and maintain 129 wind turbines as part of a proposal known as the ‘Motorimu Wind Farm’. In June 2007, consent was granted for 75 of the proposed turbines to be constructed with consent declined for the remaining 52 turbines. Motorimu appealed the decision arguing it needed all 129 turbines for the project to be viable. This month the Environmental Count granted Motorium permission to erect up to 80 turbines. Dr. Dave Bennett's testimony was entered into the record before the Environment Court.
The Palmerston North City Council last night took the first steps towards developing best-practice guidelines for the development of wind farms in the city's boundaries. At the planning and policy committee meeting, councillors voted to instruct staff to start working on guidelines to help steer wind-farm development in the future. The idea was moved by Cr Michael Feyen, and seconded by Cr John Hornblow. Cr Feyen said it was essential to start the ball rolling, before the hills were inundated with turbines.
The South Australian Opposition says the Myponga Sellicks Hill wind farm south of Adelaide will be an environment disaster if it is built. They are calling on the State Government to stop the project going ahead. The farm was announced in 2003 and will be built by TrustPower.
Richard R. James' testimony before the Wellington City Council in regard to modeled noise predictions for a Meridian Energy Ltd. wind energy facility.
Artist Grahame Sydney has defaced prints of one of his most famous paintings and is selling them to raise money to fund protest group Save Central's fight against wind-farm development in Central Otago. Sydney, a strong opponent of wind farms being built in Central Otago, is president of the Save Central group. The 760mm by 1520mm defaced prints of Timeless Land had turbines painted in blood red, graffiti-style, across the landscape to emphasise the viciousness of wind-farm proposals, Sydney said.
Rural communities are splintering over plans to build dozens of wind turbines in southern NSW. Landowners opposed to the 132-metre high turbines are devaststed their lifestyles, landscape and land values could be destroyed by neighbours allowing turbines on their farms. At Conroy's Gap, north of Yass, 15 turbines are planned. ..."It's split the community down the middle. "My mother is dead against these things and her brother, my uncle, has been promoting them," Mr McGrath said.
A $50 million wind farm will be built near Victoria's top coastal attractions, despite State Government promises to keep turbines away from the Great Ocean Rd. The Government says the Newfield wind farm, about 12km from the Twelve Apostles in the southwest, will bring jobs to Victoria and boost renewable energy. But residents say it could be the start of a flood of wind turbines near environmentally sensitive coast land. The Acciona Energy wind farm will include 15 turbines that are 110m tall.
The beautiful Puketoi ranges will be turned into an "industrial park" if locals don't put a stop to the proposed Waitahora wind farm, the head of an opposition group says. Last week, Contact Energy announced plans for a $500 million, 177-megawatt wind farm on the remote Puketoi ranges, east of Pahiatua.
Families around Myponga and Sellicks Hill on the Fleurieu Peninsula are fighting the State Government, local council, and an international electricity generator to preserve their region. Yet the power company which residents say is threatening their tranquillity advertises itself as green, friendly and environment-conscious. TrustPower is a New Zealand generator which wants to build a wind farm on the hills behind Mt Terrible and around Heatherdale Hill close to Myponga, on two ridgelines some 8km long.
The energy company is holding an open day at the Waewaepa stockyard from 10am-2pm, to discuss yet another proposed farm - this time in the ranges east of Pahiatua. Many locals, some of whom only found out about the farm in a mailbox leaflet a month ago, were not impressed, Mr Taylor said. "They have put all the glossy brochures out, and all the bull**** and jellybeans or whatever you want to call it. I am not that rapt about it."
In evidence to the Central Otago District Council last year Meridian acknowledged the turbines each of which will have a rotor roughly the size of a Boeing 747 would have an adverse visual impact on the nearby Paerau Valley. But it produced photographic mock-ups suggesting that from other vantage points the mountain block on which they would be arrayed would remain the dominant visual feature. However, Sydney says the windfarm will "industrialise" the landscape for vast distances. "What happens when you put that number of wind turbines of that size in the landscape is that they actually become the landscape. You don't see anything else really."
Wendy Brock says the family have been suffering from both loud noise and low-frequency sound that comes up through the floor of their house, causing weeks on end of sleepless nights. Wellington consultant engineer John Third said wind turbines created a broad and complex spectrum of noise. The problem was beyond the expertise of acoustic engineers, and the health effects were a matter for audiologists, not engineers, he said.
Wellington City Council released the results of the submissions on Meridian's proposed industrial wind installation that is bitterly opposed by almost all of the 100 or so residents of the small community to the west of Wellington. Of about 780 submissions received by the council, 410 were against, 380 for and there were five neutral submissions on the proposed wind farm. ... "The residents of Wellington are not silly and are waking up to the real effects of industrial wind turbines too close to homes, and the potential for more to follow. Questions are also being asked about whether these huge investments are actually as economic or as green as they are made out to be to the general public."
An Ashhurst family have been asked to record noise from wind turbines they say are making life a misery. The Brock family, who have complained about loud noise and low-frequency sound from Meridian Energy's Te Apiti wind farm since 2004, say Meridian has now sent them a recorder and microphone to use on days the turbines are especially noisy. Wendy Brock said the recorder would catch the roar of the turbines during strong easterlies, but would not register the low-frequency sound that sometimes wrecked her family's sleep for weeks on end.
Residents surrounding the proposed Lal Lal Windfarm have aired more concerns over the plan. Some residents believe they have no guarantee how the proposal will affect them, the visual amenity and farming. WestWind-Energy lodged its planning application with the planning minister last month for a 64-turbine wind farm, split into two sections, north of Elaine and east of Yendon. Millbrook resident Michael Phyland is making a submission to the proposal, with his property only 700m from the nearest proposed turbine. ..."We're concerned to have so many turbines so close to home, and about the amount of noise - we've no idea how it's going to affect us," Mr Phyland said.
A spokesman for the residents' group, Peter Russell-Clarke, says the wind farms are inefficient and will ruin the landscape. He says tourism will also be affected. "A lot of the people in the McHarg range area were putting up B&Bs well those that started have now stopped and those that we're going to apply are now not going to apply," he said.
Concrete has now been poured on 26 of 62 turbine foundations, scattered across the 55-square-kilometre site of Meridian Energy's West Wind project on Wellington's southwest coast. Each of the pads is 15 metres across and 1.5 metres deep, containing 48 tonnes of reinforced steel and 370 cubic metres of concrete. The pads will hold the turbines in place as the area's formidable winds whip against them.
Mayor Steve Toms said the biggest issue the DCP set guidelines for was the setback distance for unrelated houses from turbines. "The two kilometres setback was a benchmark set up by other councils but certainly takes into account noise and aesthetic studies," he said. "Obviously there are rules in place but there is a certain amount of controversy with how noise affects residents. "The scale of these towers is rather higher than normal at 125 to 130 metres but we felt 2km to be a reasonable benchmark."