Thursday, 14 June 2012

'People worrying themselves sick' over windfarms
7 Jun 2012

MORE than 80% of people believe health concerns about wind farms will "turn out to be nothing to worry about", a survey commissioned by the Clean Energy Council says. The survey also showed the majority of respondents supported wind farms and felt the right of farmers to make a profit from turbines on their land was more important than a resident's right to a view. The council survey took in 1200 people in regional and metropolitan areas in three states-South Australia, Victoria and NSW-which have wind farms.

More than 80% of respondents felt concerns about the health effects of wind turbines would prove unfounded, while 17% thought they would turn out to be "a real health issue". Two-thirds (67%) of people believed a farmer's right to generate income from their land was more important than a resident's right to a view clear of wind turbines. Clean Energy Council policy director Russell Marsh said the results showed those who opposed wind power were "out of step with community thinking". "The majority of people surveyed agreed that wind farms bring income to farmers and local businesses, and that governments shouldn't get in the way of this", Mr Marsh said.

Following the first hearing this week by an SA parliamentary committee investigating wind farms, Greens MLC Mark Parnell said while people "get annoyed from the sound from wind farms, there is no evidence that it's making people sick". "Certainly people are worrying themselves sick", he said. The survey also found:

  • ALMOST two-thirds (60%) of people felt restrictions on wind farm growth meant the state's industry was mis-sing opportunities.
  • ABOUT three-quarters (77%) felt local communities and landowners should be able to "make up their own minds" about wind farms, with less interference from politicians. South Australia provides 54% of the nation's wind power.