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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3437

Wind Turbines

Debate resumed on the motion by Mrs Moylan:

That this House:

(1) recognises the importance of clean energy generation technologies in Australia's current and future energy mix;

(2) acknowledges the exponential growth of wind power across Australia;

(3) appreciates that prudent planning policies are key to ensuring new infrastructure development does not adversely impact upon the social fabric of communities;

(4) notes that:

(a) the Environment Protection and Heritage Council has decided to cease further development of the National Wind Farm Development Guidelines;

(b) there is significant anecdotal evidence supporting concern about the health and associated social effects of wind farms which remain unresolved; and

(c) the Senate Community Affairs Reference Committee's report, The Social and Economic Impact of Rural Wind Farms has, as a matter of priority, called for adequately resourced studies into the possible impact that wind farms have on health;

(5) recognises that the National Health and Medical Research Council's rapid review into wind turbines and health is only a cursory compilation of literature on the topic and not an in-depth study and should not be principally relied upon to inform planning guidelines;

(6) calls on the Government to urgently commence full in-depth studies into the potential health effects of wind turbines, especially low-frequency infrasound;

(7) requests that the Government fully investigate international best practice in planning policies regarding wind farms and, in conjunction with State governments, publish comprehensive updated guidelines;

(8) calls on State, Territory and local government authorities to adopt cautious planning policies for wind farms and in the interim provide adequate buffer zones and not locate wind farms near towns, residential zoned areas, farm buildings and workplaces; and

(9) calls for approval processes to require wind farm developers to indemnify against potential health issues arising from infrasound before development approval is granted.