Friday 6th May 2016
When the National Wind Farm Commissioner hung out his shingle in November 2015, at a cost of $2 million over four years, we might have expected a flood of complaints from hundreds of unhappy residents to pour forth. Instead, it’s been more of a trickle.
Appearing in Senate Estimates on Thursday*, the Commissioner, Andrew Dyer, explained that he’s received just 63 complaints about Australia’s wind farms in his six months of operation. 39 of these relate to 9 operating wind farms and a further 24 relate to 14 which haven’t yet been built. Australia has 82 operational wind farms and perhaps as many again at some stage of development. When you consider tens of thousands of people live in close proximity to new and proposed wind farms, this is a pretty meagre average.
And the statewide count shows 28 complaints in Victoria, 21 in South Australia, just 12 in New South Wales and two in Queensland.
We’re pleased that the Commissioner has met with a good number of wind farm supporters – around 50, many of whom are AWA members – alongside ‘well over 100’ objectors.
Hopefully, out of this process he’ll be able to get to the bottom of some long-running disputes and recommend some improvements to processes around community engagement and planning, but all up, you’d have to think there’s not a huge market for his services.
You can view the proceedings here, starting at 13.43.23
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