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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Wind Farms Banned in Victoria

Robin and Glenn Brew


Blind Freddy could see it coming - wind farms are a good idea as long as you don't live near one. Yesterday Victoria’s tough new guidelines on wind farms came into effect - they give residents the right to veto the turbines if they are within 2 kms of their home and are banned within 5 kms of major regional towns and some scenic areas.


At least three proposed wind farms that have taken years to develop have now been dumped and others are in limbo. I’m happy for the people of Victoria, they are now safe from these ugly monsters but what about the rest of us - that investment will be redirected to other states, like mine. Before they went ahead with these multi-million dollar projects, they should have asked us what we thought about them and the answer is clear - we don’t want a bar of them – not now, not ever!


Last week, Moyne Shire Council, in Victoria’s westwest, voted to block wind giant Fenosa from receiving permit extensions for two wind farms and Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner developments are now in serious doubt. Spanish company Acciona Energy announced in May that it would drop its plan to develop a wind farm with up to 40 turbines near Evansford, 158km northwest of Melbourne. It cited unspecified environmental reasons and lack of wind as making the project unviable, but local opponent Robyn Brew said it would have been impossible under the new laws anyway.


In June this year, Ruth Corrigan who lives near Capital Wind Farm near Bungendore, just outside of Canberra, says wind farms are bad for your health. Experts have recently discovered something they call “lower frequency vibration.” She can’t sleep and it’s slowly driving her crazy. Further turbines are being erected every week and she has had no help from Infigen Energy who are very proud of their Capital Wind Farm.


Robin and Glenn Brew, organic farmers who live near the Waubra wind farm in Victoria were originally in favour of wind energy until they reported similar health problems. The 128 turbine development triggered a Senate inquiry that recommended firmer noise limits and urgent research into damaging health effects on nearby residents.


Clean Energy Council chief executive Matthew Warren said yesterday the new policy signaled future wind development was "closed for business" in Victoria.