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Byron Shire
June 21, 2021

Coalition’s war on wind power ‘on even shakier ground’

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Wind farms, a clean renewable energy source. Photo imotov/Flickr
Wind farms, a clean renewable energy source. Photo imotov/Flickr

The NSW government has been called on to withdraw its planning guidelines for wind farms after a report this week by respected Australian health researchers found no evidence that wind turbines impacted on health.

NSW Greens MP John Kaye says the National Health and Medical  Research Council’s (NHMRC) preliminary findings that there is a lack of ‘reliable or consistent evidence’ that turbines cause health effects should be taken on board immediately by the government.

Public consultation on the government’s draft guidelines on wind farms finished in March 2012 but the final document is yet to be released.

The NHMRC’s study ‘Evidence on Wind Farms and Human Health’ (http://j.mp/NHMRCwind) found ‘no reliable or consistent evidence that proximity to wind farms or wind farm noise directly causes health’.

The NSW government’s ‘Draft NSW Planning Guidelines: Wind Farms’ (http://j.mp/DoPIwind) requires wind farm applicants to ‘consider health issues’, and in some cases applications would be required to be referred to the health department.

Dr Kaye said ‘the O’Farrell government has been caught flirting with the wind witch-doctors’.

‘By perpetuating the unfounded claims of the opponents of wind energy technology, the premier and his planning minister have damaged the state’s economy and undermined its renewable energy industry,’ he said.

‘The NHMRC’s findings should not have come as a surprise to anyone.

‘In 2010, the health watchdog warned that attempts to claim that wind turbines were linked to ill health were not founded on scientific evidence.

‘In December 2011 the O’Farrell government called for public comment on a set of draft guidelines that  were in large measure based on allegations of health impacts that had already been debunked by the NHMRC.

‘The planning document included the world’s toughest noise standards, an onerous public consultation regime, and a requirement to address health issues that are not real.

‘The latest findings from the NHMRC go even further in rejecting some of the dodgy health claims that have gulled planning pinister Brad Hazzard and his premier.

‘The O’Farrell government should withdraw these draft guidelines before they damage the state’s clean energy future even further.

‘Instead, they should work with the wind industry to develop guidelines that respect local communities and allow the most cost-effective renewable energy technology to prosper in this state.

‘The opportunity to create more than 4,000 jobs and attract $8 billion of investment is being squandered by the O’Farrell government’s hostility to wind farms.

‘A new direction could see the state’s annual greenhouse gas emissions cut by up to 17 million tonnes of CO2.

‘The NHMRC report should be one more sign to the premier that it’s time to end his war on renewable energy,’ Dr Kaye said.

 

 


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5 COMMENTS

  1. Wind Farms in Spain have taken a financial hit as the government can no longer afford to subsidise this inefficient method of electricity generation. This fact is repeated all over the world including Australia. The wind farms on the Spanish coast are visually polluting, have an incredibly annoying sound when they are spinning and will need maintenance and replacement over time. Not sure why wind generation is considered clean and renewable. The turbines are manufactured in China, shipped to whatever country using fossil fuels all along the supply chain.
    Until there is a breakthrough in storage of electricity then these forms of electricity generation will remain inefficient, expensive and still require a baseload electricity generation source.to get reliable supply ….\

  2. Could be that o’farrell government is in league with the non renewable sector of the energy supply group, I mean if you got the clout lets look after the coal/oil/gas industry

  3. I am surprised at NSW Greens MP, John Kaye’s, stance on wind farms. Aesthetically they look dreadful, having been placed in some very beautiful areas and environmentally they are a disaster as birds fly into them and are killed. Surely this would hardly be The Greens preferred form of energy?

    The brakes seem to regularly fail in strong winds and the wind towers catch fire from over-revving. They are noisy and can be heard many kilometres away.

    Australia needs to build big solar energy plants in areas of high sunshine, and then send the energy on the grid to the towns and villages.

  4. Margaret Howes, like you I am also surprised. I’m surprised at the NSW O’Farrell government’s stance on CGS approvals. Aesthetically CSG wells and raods look dreadful, having been placed in some very beautiful and agriculturally important areas. Environmentally the CSG industry is a much greater disaster than the wind turbines. Not just birds, but our great arteian water supplies, peoples’ health and that of the animals, aquatic life and our food chain are all at grave risk. The NSW government is forging ahead with this industry, though they lie about the so-called legislated “safe guards”

  5. “The world according to Poh” would have us all sitting around waiting for science or someone to come up with a better battery. I seem to remember the Spanish being quite at the front of solar technology. Margaret’s view that “They look dreadful” is purely subjective, I happen to think that wind farms are quite beautiful & as a bonus they produce electricity (by the bucket load). Photo voltaics have certainly dropped in price over the last few years, my advice is get your own lot of panels, batteries, inverters & go for it . Won’t cost you the earth either.Make no mistake Roof top solar is a thorn in the side, Qld’s “Stanwell” power station is either stood down or at idle (not required) because of roof top solar. A comment from the Ceo was “we just kept putting up the price of electricity because we (the board) thought they would just keep on paying”…………………………..

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