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Health check for Waubra Wind Farm

19 Oct, 2009 10:51 AM
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6
 
The Waubra wind farm.
The Waubra wind farm.

THE Victorian Government will examine claims that Waubra's 128-turbine wind farm is harming the health of nearby residents.

Finance, WorkCover and Transport Accident Commission Minister, Tim Holding, wrote to Western Victoria MLC Peter Kavanagh last week to confirm that three government departments would examine "potential hazards" caused by sub-audible noise emitted by the turbines.

Mr Kavanagh raised the issue in parliament on September 2, after meeting with several Waubra residents who claim the towers have caused headaches, nausea and sleep deprivation since they began operating in June.

"I did a tour of Waubra in late August and people there are very upset about the wind farm," Mr Kavanagh said.

"Most off them were fairly happy to go along with the turbines before they were installed, but now I know of one family who won't live in their house.

"It certainly isn't an isolated incident."

WorkSafe Victoria, the Environmental Protection Authority and the Department of Human Services will work with local government to examine the issue raised by Mr Kavanagh.

But a WorkSafe spokesman denied the move was a formal investigation.

"It's not an investigation. We are looking at specific claims made by a few local residents," he said.

"Questions have been asked of the minister and by getting other relevant departments involved we are trying to answer the questions asked.

"It's in its very early stages and where it goes we don't know."

A spokesman for Acciona Energy, the Spanish company behind the wind farm, said extensive studies of wind farms worldwide were yet to provide conclusive proof that they were harmful.

"Acciona Energy is not aware of any investigation but would willingly participate with confidence, knowing there is no clear, consistent scientific data, nor a peer-reviewed scientific consensus, to confirm a connection between modern wind turbines and health concerns," he said.

"The Waubra wind farm meets the stringent noise levels required by government."

The spokesman said the farm reached full generation capacity for the first time two weeks ago.

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READER COMMENTS

pete
19/10/2009 8:00:01 PM, on Stock & Land

You would hope no other farmers were silly enough to sign up with dodgy wind companies after the debacle that has taken place here. Anyone who would submit themselves and neighbours to low frequency noise of over 100db for a sustained period would have to be a screw loose. Even more alarming is the fact the farmer with the turbines on their land signs away all their rights, their neighbours can sue them if they get noise testing done. Wind turbines are for inner city fools that still don't realise the wind only blows enough to provide power at about 20% capacity over a year. Fat lot of use they are in trying to reduce dependance on coal.
Annoyed Youth
20/10/2009 7:30:13 AM, on Stock & Land

Pete sounds like an anti wind campaigner to me....what do you suggest we do to reduce our reliance then? How would building a solar farm go down with you?
mick
20/10/2009 9:39:11 AM, on Stock & Land

There's no shortage of anti wind farm campainers, annoyed youth. I live well away from the nearest wind farm to me, but I know they are a total scam that will drive up the price of power to at least double what it is now, and not provide any benefit to the enviroment with regards to cutting emmisions from coal. Can you tell us all how a wind farm will stop us burning coal?? You simply can't turn off coal generators when the wind blows and on when it stops it takes hours to ramp up, and what happens to the electricity supply in the meantime? It goes out! Wind farms are promoted using lies and spin, not one coal generator has ever shut down world wide due to windfarms. You can even look on the AEMO website and see that when the wind turbines are producing power the production from coal does not slow down. I agree that solar is much better, but why have a solar farm and take up valuable land when every home and business can use their roof, leaving the land to sequst more carbon? Once you have solar you get free electricity to, unlike that produced by multinational wind companies that ship all the taxpayer subsidised profit overseas.
alby
20/10/2009 5:41:07 PM, on Stock & Land

Wind farms are a total scam on the consumers of Australia. Green energy that is sold from them can be produced on Sat night when no one needs it and sold on Wednesday at 10am! What a joke. There's no point paying extra for green power, because you're probably not getting it!
greenparrot
20/10/2009 7:13:06 PM, on Stock & Land

This has been going on at wind farms around the world for years. Why on earth hasn't the govt taken notice of the experience? They are more interested in feathering the nest of snake oil salesman type developers who get farmers and country towns to sign up to these schemes. Wind farms shouldn't be allowed within at least 3km of a house due to the infrasound they produce. Farmers are being taken for fools by the crooks and labor govts pushing this giant con.
Gasman
23/02/2010 9:45:20 PM, on Stock & Land

If these wind farms are such a scam how come that the European Union last year installed more wind generators than any other form of electricity generating device. Germany now produces 18% of its electricity nationally from wind farms, Spain about 12%, Denmark about 9%, etc. The latest move is to install wind turbines about 10km out to sea, where the wind power is stronger and more consistent. The idea that when the wind stops you cease to get electricity is nonsense. We are dealing with an electricity GRID, fed by multiple wind farms scattered around the country. If the wind stops at wind farm A it will be still be blowing at wind farms X, Y and Z etc. I agree that solar power is the way to go but don't be led into damming wind farms by the advertising put about by vested interest in coal-fired electricity production.

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