Wind farm critics keen to hear expert’s findings on turbine noise

WIND farm critics are hoping an expert’s report to be presented in Portland next month will strengthen their case for official recognition of noise and health issues linked to turbines.

Among those planning to attend the report’s release will be Cape Bridgewater residents, some of whom claim their property values have been eroded since wind turbines were erected in the past decade. The Standard understands some houses on Blowholes Road, where turbines tower over the popular coastal spot, have been vacated.

Six people took part in acoustic testing for eight weeks in June and July related to the Pacific Hydro wind facility at Cape Bridgewater.

Acoustics expert Steven Cooper is expected to present his final report on February 9 in Portland, with Senator John Madigan also likely to attend.

Local resident Sonia Trist, who participated in the study, said her home was 600 metres from the northern end of the Cape Bridgewater farm which has 29 turbines, all 110 metres high.

Nearby resident Melissa Ware has previously spoken of headaches and other health effects attributed to the turbines.

She said the study showed a link between wind farm noise and vibrations and sensations she felt.

Another resident on Blowholes Road, who did not want to be identified, said residents had been pro-wind energy before the project was constructed, but now realised there were alarming side effects.

He said as well as health concerns, property values had plummeted to the point where some were almost unsaleable.

Glenelg Shire Council mayor Robert Halliday recalled that the Pacific Hydro project application had been scrutinised during several weeks of hearings by a planning panel.

“Both sides had their chance to address concerns,” Cr Halliday said.

“Pacific Hydro said no towers would be visible from the beach and that’s the case.

“Admittedly some of the laws now are a bit different.

“The council back then favoured renewable energy as does the current council.

“There are concerns about wind farms and these are addressed in the proper process.”

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