Articles filed under Impact on Landscape from Australia / New Zealand
Misleading documents, environmental concerns, questionable research techniques and health and noise issues were among the points raised by angry community members and environmental experts at the Dundonnell Wind Farm Project Public Hearing on Tuesday night.
Chairman Senator John Madigan said there had been health concerns from people living close to turbines and the hearing was a chance for people to share their experiences. ..."My goal and that of the committee is to get to the truth."
In its findings released today, the Commission declared the application for modification of the original approval was “inconsistent with the intent and spirit of the Draft NSW Planning Guidelines....the application, if approved, would have significant visual impact on the non-associated residences and the proposed vegetation screening would not be able to mitigate the impact on all affected residences to an acceptable level.”
Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey has made more critical comments about the way wind farms look, describing them as "appalling".
A deal has at last been reached between Moyne Shire and AGL Australia over roads damaged from construction of the Macarthur wind farm. AGL has confirmed this week it has come to “a verbal agreement” on a settlement for roads torn up in the making of the $1 billion development.
More than 200 people attended the commission to witness 47 residents and local stakeholders discuss the good and the bad of the potential wind farms. ...Mr Gregory was in a minority of speakers who supported the wind turbine project, a high percentage of speakers discussed potential health issues, flora and fauna damage, visual amenities and air navigation issues.
Landholders whose properties look onto the Gullen Range wind farm being built at Bannister, on the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, say their rural landscape is being destroyed. The 165MW project belongs to China-based developer Goldwind and will be made up of 73 turbines.
Aeroplanes couldn't fly within one kilometre of a stationary turbine, and weren't allowed within five kilometres down wind of a moving turbine. Wind farm company Epuron said turbines wouldn't stop fire fighting aircraft from assisting during an emergency.
"There wasn't much evidence around but I was struck by the countryside. The more we drove around on inspection the more convinced I was the turbines would have an impact. "I went past some time later when they were under construction and I was absolutely horrified to see the towers going up. They didn't have their nacelles (hubs) or blades on at that stage but I thought ‘what have I done to these people.'"
In a statement, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says the project will become a "white elephant that will be embroiled in litigation." Senator Xenophon currently has a Bill before Parliament to introduce national standards on the level of noise created by wind turbines.
"Our people have been here for 170 years and they really value the country, and to put wind turbines through these beautiful Pyrenees ranges would have been just a massacre," he said. Mitchell ward councillor David Clark said he wasn't surprised by the scrapping.
Wind turbines are popping up around the world as an alternative source of energy, but residents who live near them say the machines are making them sick.
It is understood VicRoads needs about $100 million just to repair its network back to pre-wind farm era condition. The Moyne Shire needs tens of millions of dollars to fix its local roads. “Some main roads may have to be ripped up and returned to gravel because there are no funds to maintain a proper bitumen surface."
This edition of Nature and Society newseltter includes two articles regarding wind energy and its impacts on nearby environments and people. The full articles can be accessed by downloading the newsletter from this page. One of the articles is provided, in full, on this page.
"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.
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.
SA Groups in South Australia opposing wind farm developments close to homes and regional towns say the State Government needs to follow Victoria's lead in having separation zones. The Victorian Government has decided wind farms cannot be built within two kilometres of homes and within five kilometres of more than 20 regional towns.
Moyne Shire councillors voted on Tuesday night to oppose extending permits for the proposed Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner wind farm projects, granted to developers Union Fenosa three years ago. The Standard understands the move is the first time that a Victorian council have been able to successfully oppose a wind farm proposal since the Baillieu government won office last year.
In a dramatic win for residents' groups who have raised widespread concerns about the impact of wind farms on rural communities, the committee recommended that noise measurements be expanded to include low-frequency noise, or infrasound.
The court found the introduction of turbines would detract visually from the area to an unacceptable degree. Ms Godfrey told the hearing in January she was forced to move from her Waubra home because of sleep deprivation, headaches and nausea after turbines began operating.