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Rally to support wind farm noise bill

13, November 2012

Today rural residents from three states will rally at Parliament House Canberra to demand support from all parties for the bill initiated by Senators Madigan and Xenophon to curb excessive wind farm noise.

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.

“People are frustrated the Commonwealth government last month mothballed well supported recommendations of the 2011 senate inquiry into the impacts of wind farms, even though the government claimed it supported most of the recommendations” said Max Rheese, executive director of the Australian Environment Foundation.

“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.

“We believe 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.

“For too long the Commonwealth and State governments have ignored the plight of people in many communities who are distressed by noise levels from some wind farms.  The recent Supreme Court judgement in South Australia demonstrates that wind farm operators and state governments have to lift their game with regard to protecting resident’s health.

“Over 20 Victorian families have already abandoned their homes due to wind farm noise.  We support people’s rights to rest and relaxation in their own homes without excessive noise” said Mr Rheese.

- ENDS -
Latest peer-reviewed paper from the Journal of Noise & Health http://aefweb.info/data/Effects%20of%20industrial%20wind%20turbine%20noise%20on%20sleep%20and%20health_Nissenbaum%20et%20al%20Oct12.pdf 

Government response to 2011 senate recommendations

The Australian Environment Foundation is a not-for-profit, membership-based environment organisation having no political affiliation.  AEF takes an evidence-based, solution focused approach to environmental issues. 

AEF embraces the IUCN (World Conservation Union) sustainable use principles as providing an ethical balanced framework for many environmental challenges. 

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