June 21, 2013
The proposed Coopers Gap wind farm – and other wind power projects – have been labelled “wind power fraud” by Member for Maranoa Bruce Scott.
Addressing South Burnett landholders who had travelled to Canberra for an anti-wind farm rally this week, Mr Scott slammed wind power as “inefficient, costly and a feel-good option that doesn’t deliver”.
“Wind farms are dividing communities in my electorate,” Mr Scott said.
He said the CSIRO had estimated the “levelled” cost of wind power at $168/MWh, compared with coal at $80MW/h.
“We need to be smart about green energy but Australia simply can’t afford to support wind power that doesn’t deliver,” Mr Scott said.
“The reality is that the weather is the driving force of a turbine because they don’t generate electricity when the wind speed is too high or too low.
“Wind power is just a feel-good option for electricity. It is not a clean, green source of energy as turbines require powered generators which negate any reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
“There’s also the human cost with reports of headaches, dizziness, deep nervous fatigue, symptoms similar to seasickness as well as irritability, depression, concentration and sleep problems experienced by those who live close to a wind farm.
“Wind farms also take up large parcels of agricultural land which are used for food production.
“Australia can’t afford the carbon tax and we certainly cannot afford to spend billions of dollars to subsidise this inefficient, intermittent, expensive wind power fraud.”
The anti-wind farm rally, led by broadcaster Alan Jones in front of Parliament House, attracted about 200 people, including the delegation from Coopers Gap.
A few hours later, a pro-wind farm rally held in the Canberra CBD attracted about 400 people.
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Cooranga North Concerned Citizens Group (CNCCG) spokesman Bryan Lyons believes he knows the reason why the Coopers Gap project seems to be stalled.
Mr Lyons, who will have a turbine constructed on the boundary of his property if the project goes ahead, told southburnett.com.au the anti-wind farm group has correspondence on file from the State Government which it believes confirms that wind farms in Queensland would be subject to the provisions of the Environmental Protection (Noise) Policy 2008.
This Queensland policy states that noise levels inside a dwelling at night should be no more than 30dB(A) for health and well-bring, and the ability to sleep.
However, he said AGL was using the South Australian Wind Farms Environmental Noise Guidelines for the Coopers Gap project. This sets 40dB(A) as the maximum external noise level for farming land of the type in the Cooranga North / Boyneside area.
The CNCCG hired an independent acoustic consultant to conduct tests on site at three properties at Coopers Gap to determine the sound differences in dB(A) from outside the structures to inside the bedrooms (with the windows open).
The differences ranged from -1.2dB(A) (ie the sound was greater inside the bedroom) to 4.1dB(A).
At the highest level of attenuation, the sound decrease from 40dB(A) would still be greater than the 30dB(A) allowed in Queensland, Mr Lyons said.
He said several turbine hosts (ie landholders who have agreed to have turbines erected on their land) had approached AGL to ask them to conduct their own acoustic tests to determine if the project would be legal, but so far there had been no response.
Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington told southburnett.com.au she would support any call by the local community for AGL to do acoustic tests.