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Monday, 19 March 2012
Page: 3442


Mr SCHULTZ (Hume) (19:19): It is a shame that I will not have more time to expose the great fraud on the Australian people that is the wind turbine industry. Communities in proximity to wind turbine complexes are experiencing health and noise impacts that interfere with their lives. They did not experience these issues before the turbines came online. I have received complaints from my constituents that confirm similar experiences at other sites. It appears that noise frequencies occur inside houses, which some people hear and others do not hear. Similarly, it appears from testing that there are low frequencies in houses that are below the threshold of hearing that can generate effects on people, giving rise to headaches and nausea. There is no transparency in relation to noise testing. It is all in-house by the wind operators and nothing is released in the public domain. The wind turbine industry says there are no problems but there are cracks appearing in this position. A number of wind turbine operators are now buying houses when there is proof of a noise issue even when they say there is no problem. There are proposals for hundreds of turbines to be installed and we still do not have the health and noise studies nominated in the Senate inquiry. It is foolish to proceed with more turbines on the problems with the current ones simply have not been resolved.

Rural communities believe they are being discriminated against by the provision of wind farms producing excessive noise. They have every reason to believe this when you investigate the conduct of the New South Wales planning department in their lack of due diligence and accountability in the noise compliance assessment process. That the New South Wales Department of Planning is clearly complicit in also hiding the truth from rural communities can be seen from this noise compliance assessment document of the Capital Wind Farm which has had 80 per cent of the data removed prior to the document being released under a freedom of information request. This wind turbine monitoring data was collected by bi-back acousticians and yes, you guessed it, paid for by the wind farm owner operator Infogen. The document was removed from the New South Wales Department of Planning website by Deputy Director-General Richard Pearson because Infogen insisted that the data was commercial-in-confidence. Did this data conveniently remove from this industry funded report prove beyond reasonable doubt that Capital Wind Farm was indeed operating illegally within the New South Wales planning department's conditions of consent? Why would Infogen and the New South Wales department want to keep this information a secret if it was not going to reveal that this wind farm should never have been signed off on? How can the New South Wales Department of Planning have any credibility with any audit process it undertakes on wind turbine complexes in New South Wales? Interestingly, at a recent community meeting at Yass employees of the Department of Planning New South Wales admitted that no compliance monitoring has ever been carried out by the New South Wales Department of Planning in the state of New South Wales.

In the little time left to me I want a quote from an executive summary of an acoustic group's recent investigation about noise from wind farms on the New South Wales border:

The background noise monitoring survey report is found to have been flawed. The noise impact assessment, chapter 12 environmental assessment and appendix G2 noise impact assessment has been found to be inadequate and likely to be inaccurate. They fail to properly examine the lack of data for the type of turbine assumed and appropriate sound power level for modelling purposes that reflects actual operating turbines.

It goes on and on:

There has been found to be a fundamental inadequacy in the acoustic assessments in that they do not attempt to discuss or examine the actual noise impact for the community. Such an analysis is required by the director-general's requirements and by the principles contained in the South Australian legislative process.

As I said, I could talk about this particular issue for hours on end. The more I dig on it, the more I find what appears to be not only misinformation to the public but also a very interesting indication that there is corruption within the industry between certain government agencies at state and national level and, more importantly, a very concerted effort by the wind turbine developers to shut down anybody who criticises them. The classic example of what I am talking about in closing is the threat of legal action against me by a particular environmental group in Victoria and attempts to discredit my good name on the issue of information I have obtained on the public record and beyond.