Wind farm tour not convincing for Cooranga north graziers
COORANGA North graziers Jim and Kate Scutt are still on the fence about the Coopers Gap wind farm after touring wind farms in Victoria.
Several community members from the area and South Burnett Regional councillors were able to tour the AGL wind farms in Victoria to get a taste of what living close to a wind farm would be like.
Mrs Scutt said she would need a good month living near a wind farm to a good idea about it.
"It's just a matter of time before we them here, and we resigned ourselves to the fact. It's a wait and see game,” she said.
The Scutts have lived in the area for three years and the closest wind farm would be about 1.5km from their property.
Mr Scutt's main concern about the farm was the effect on health and the noise.
He said the tour had done nothing to appease his concerns about the noise from the wind farm.
He said a group of people who did not want the wind farms met with three families who live near a wind farm in Macarthur, Victoria.
"From what they told us, it sounds like they are living in hell,” he said.
"It's low level noise and vibrations.”
Mr Scutt said he had not been convinced wind farms did not generate much noise, as when they visited the farms there was little wind.
"There wasn't much wind, we couldn't hear anything,” he said.
"The wind strength was very low.”
They met another couple who lived all their lives in the area and told them about the low level noise they experienced.
"When the wind farm first started they couldn't sleep,” he said.
"They said that they shut the turbines down at night, one night they couldn't sleep, discovered the wind towers going again.
"Some of these people must have shut their ears to the problem.”
After a big relocation in 2013, the Scutts don't want to move again until they retire and move into town.
"All my life I've lived in pretty quiet areas; when you get older you a get a bit more sensitive to noise,” he said.
"It's a nice little area and the community is going to be split by this.
"It think we'll see how it goes and then make a decision.
"It's a hard decision whether we put the place on the market and move. It was a fairly big exercise when we moved in 2013.”
AGL runs wind farms in Hallett, Macarthur and Oaklands.
The energy company is hoping to operate a wind farm in Silverton, New South Wales, as well as Coopers Gap.
The wind farm is planned to be connected to a new Powerlink substation along the new Western Downs to Halys transmission.
The wind farm would include 115 turbines on about 13,200 hectares of freehold agricultural land.
If all goes to plan with the Environmental Impact Statement for the project, work on the wind farm will start in late 2017, with the possibility of being in full operation by 2020.
Mr Scutt said there was another meeting at the Coranga North Hall about the farm at the end of the month.