Friends of the Earth welcomes Senate wind farm report, calls for Vic Govt to drop ‘arbitrary’ 2km buffer zone

Media Release 23 June 2011
Friends of the Earth

Friends of the Earth welcomes Senate wind farm report, calls for Vic Govt to drop ‘arbitrary’ 2km buffer zone

Friends of the Earth has welcomed a new Senate committee report on the impacts of rural wind farms, handed down in Canberra today.

“The committee should be commended for their careful and balanced approach to this issue,” said FoE campaigns coordinator Cam Walker.

“They have considered the complaints put forward by a small number of people living near wind farms, but balanced this against the weight of scientific evidence that wind farms have no proven adverse health impacts on people living nearby.”

In its report the Senate Committee has recommended a number of new studies on the noise, infrasound and health impacts of wind farms.

“Further research is always welcome, we believe it will help clear up some of the misconceptions about wind farms, and add to the already strong community support for renewable energy projects in rural areas.”

“We’re pleased that the committee did not support a mandatory setback distance around wind farms, calling them arbitrary and saying it’s preferable to decide setback distances using scientific measurements of sound effects.”

“The Victorian Government should listen to this advice, and drop its proposed mandatory 2km exclusion zone around wind farm developments.”

“Instead, set back distances should continue to be based on likely noise impacts for each particular location, depending on the topography of the site and other relevant factors.”

“An arbitrary 2km exclusion zone would place unnecessary restrictions on future wind farm projects and does not apply to any other major development in Victoria – not even freeways which create far greater noise impacts.”

“All we’re asking for is a fair go for wind farms, they shouldn’t face greater restrictions or more red-tape than other types of developments.”

“Victoria has an opportunity to become a leader in wind energy generation, creating jobs, income and business opportunities for regional areas, and reducing our reliance on polluting brown coal,” Mr Walker concluded.
For further information. Cam Walker 0419 338 047

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