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Rally to support wind farm excessive noise bill

13, November 2012

Rally to support wind farm excessive noise bill

Rural residents from three states, members of the AEF, the Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group and Boorowa Landscape Guardians rallied at Parliament House on November 13th to demand support from all political parties for the bill initiated by Senators Madigan and Xenophon to curb excessive wind farm noise.

Frustrated by a lack of action from the Commonwealth government to the well supported recommendations of the 2011 senate inquiry into the impacts of wind farms, protestors gathered to support the actions of the two senators.

The bill, which has been introduced into parliament and is currently the subject of a senate committee inquiry, seeks to refuse Renewable Energy Certificates to wind farms that exceed background noise by more than 10 decibels.

Renewable Energy Certificates are a financial incentive provided by the Commonwealth government to wind energy companies, which in a growing number of cases is directly financing excessive noise leading to adverse health impacts for some rural residents.

Politicians from all parties have a moral obligation to support this bill and prevent harm to people living near wind farms.

The bill enables the Clean Energy Regulator to withdraw accreditation from wind farms found to be exceeding noise levels.  Loss of accreditation would mean the wind farm would not be able to claim Renewable Energy Certificates.

Wind farms that operate responsibly within the guidelines will not be impacted by this legislation.

The rally was addressed by several residents living near existing wind farms who are suffering adverse health impacts and they called on the government to support the bill and provide funding for health and acoustical studies as recommended by the 2011 senate inquiry.

A recent analysis of wind farm noise by acoustician Steven Cooper supports the need for more rigorous guidelines and health studies to determine the degree of impact on rural residents.

The latest peer-reviewed paper from the Journal of Noise and Health also adds weight to the calls for health studies.


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