At a recent Hepburn Shire Council meeting (September 18, 2012) a motion was passed that demonstrated unacceptable bias by a council.
Should a proposed wind farm be a 'community wind farm,' the motion (put forward by Councillor May) aims to get rid of planning provisions (Amendment VC 82) that protect Victorian residents from a wind farm planned too close to residents.
As if a 100m tower with 80m blades is any less intrusive, noisy, or damaging to the environment for being called a 'community' wind farm!
Considering that you can live in the middle of Melbourne, and own as many shares in Hepburn Wind as you like, I find this a gross misuse of the word 'community.'
The motion aims to get rid of any protection from these wind farms, offered by Amendment VC 82 to specified areas of Victoria, and also aims to get rid of protection to 'land where any turbine that forms part of the Wind energy facility is located within two kilometres of an existing dwelling'.
Amendment VC 82 acknowledges the fact that everywhere in the world, people are being forced off their land due to turbine noise.
In Denmark, recent research shows that the larger turbines emit more low-frequency noise, causing distress to people living nearby: "The study concludes that not only do large turbines produce more noise, have a larger noise footprint on the surrounding landscape, but they alter the spectrum of that noise for the worse."' (Stock & Land, June 24, 2011).
A submission from Germany sent to our Senate inquiry into the effects of rural wind farms is an impassioned letter from a family whose son had more epileptic fits after the nearby two turbines went into operation.
They had to sell their house at great financial loss, and build again modifications to their new home, to protect their son.
Because of turbine noise at Waubra, fourth-generation farmers cannot live in their house.
When I mentioned this to my Cameron Ward council representative, he told me that we would never agree on this issue, and hung up on me.
He had voted for this piece of highly discriminatory council policy. So much for 'community.'