The area around Cooper's Gap where AGL wants to build a 115-turbine wind farm (Photo: AGL)

October 18, 2012

A meeting was held at the Western Downs Regional Council offices today to discuss the proposed AGL wind farm project at Coopers Gap.

Councillors and AGL representatives met with supporters of the project, including members of the Coopers Gap Wind Farm Supporters Group and Greens candidate for Maranoa Grant Newson.

Mr Newson has publicly pledged his support before for the controversial project, which has split the community in the Cooranga North and Ironpot areas.

“It’s great to see the supporters group has 419 members and is still growing,” Mr Newson said.

“Even though the group support the project, it is good to see them raise many issues with different specialists.

“The only issue I personally had for the day was the difficulty that such an environmentally friendly, non-polluting, free-from-health risks renewable energy project has to go through compared to the alternatives such as the CSG, UCG and coal industries.

“These fossil fuels have proven, detrimental health and environmental risks but seem to be just ignoring the science. I know which one I would rather live near.

“Council wants to make sure that each turbine does not have its own title deed, but residents say that land will be only leased from the owners and will remain with the family farms.

“There were going to be 218 turbines when this project was originally proposed, and at present there are now only 115 towers planned. So the sooner this project gets going the better.”

Mr Newson said people have expressed concerns regarding the turbines not being “within guidelines”.

“The government is yet to establish any guidelines in Queensland, so until that process is complete, nothing can be outside regulations,” he said.

“There have even been significant advances to remove what little noise is created as the blade passes the towers with noise suppression material.

“Even now, you get more noise from a quiet room in your house than what these wind turbines create, so it will be even less if that’s possible.”

As the project crosses the boundaries between the South Burnett Regional Council and the Western Downs Regional Council, meetings with both Councils are necessary.

“It appears that Western Downs Regional Council are supporting this project and I was informed that South Burnett Regional Council have only two councillors that are not behind it yet,” Mr Newson said.

The group listened to a presentation from Simon Chapman, who is a professor in public health with the University of Sydney.

Prof Chapman recently had an article on wind farms published in the New Scientist magazine.

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