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Fierce backlash to Barossa wind farm

Wombat Awareness Organisation founder Brigitte Stevens was concerned about the project’s impact on southern hairy-nosed wombats. “By the time they put in all the trenches and the roads, the wombats aren’t going to stand a chance,” Ms Stevens said. “The wombats are just going to move to farming properties and could succumb to disease or stress.”

ANGRY: Hansborough and Districts Residents opposed to the proposed Twin Creek wind farm on the northern hills of the Barossa Valley have raised their concerns with the State Commission Assessment Panel.

A $300 million wind farm near Kapunda would threaten wombats and endangered pygmy blue tongue lizards, decimate house values and be a blight on the landscape, residents say.

The State Commission Assessment Panel met at Tanunda yesterday, to hear from locals affected by RES Australia’s plans for its Twin Creek Wind Farm.

The company plans to build up to 51 wind turbines on a 5600ha area of farming land, about 11km northeast of Kapunda.

Residents believe the turbines would create extra frost by pushing cooler air towards the ground. They fear this would harm farmland and vineyards in the Barossa Valley. They also flagged worries about traffic issues, plummeting house values and the potential for sleep disturbance.

Wendy Oliver, who lives 2.2km from the closest turbines, said the “unusually dense series of wind turbines” would be ugly. “The endangered pygmy blue tongue lizards will be decimated by the... more [truncated due to possible copyright]  

ANGRY: Hansborough and Districts Residents opposed to the proposed Twin Creek wind farm on the northern hills of the Barossa Valley have raised their concerns with the State Commission Assessment Panel.

A $300 million wind farm near Kapunda would threaten wombats and endangered pygmy blue tongue lizards, decimate house values and be a blight on the landscape, residents say.

The State Commission Assessment Panel met at Tanunda yesterday, to hear from locals affected by RES Australia’s plans for its Twin Creek Wind Farm.

The company plans to build up to 51 wind turbines on a 5600ha area of farming land, about 11km northeast of Kapunda.

Residents believe the turbines would create extra frost by pushing cooler air towards the ground. They fear this would harm farmland and vineyards in the Barossa Valley. They also flagged worries about traffic issues, plummeting house values and the potential for sleep disturbance.

Wendy Oliver, who lives 2.2km from the closest turbines, said the “unusually dense series of wind turbines” would be ugly. “The endangered pygmy blue tongue lizards will be decimated by the construction process,” she said.

The turbines would be up to 180m tall, and the project was expected to employ more than 480 people during construction.

Hansborough man Brad Hancock said real estate agents had told him his house value would take a huge hit.

“Our home has been built purposely for the panoramic views,” Mr Hancock said.

Andrew McKinnon, of Bagot Well, said the towers would be “enormous”. “The Barossa risk is significant and it places a lot of jobs and vineyards at risk,” Mr McKinnon said.

Wombat Awareness Organisation founder Brigitte Stevens was concerned about the project’s impact on southern hairy-nosed wombats.

“By the time they put in all the trenches and the roads, the wombats aren’t going to stand a chance,” Ms Stevens said.

“The wombats are just going to move to farming properties and could succumb to disease or stress.”

Kym Mosey, of Twin Creek, whose family would lease land to RES for the wind farm, was visibly emotional while addressing the panel on the issue, which had divided his community. Countless local businesses had closed over recent years, he said, and the development would provide a vital shot in the arm for the region. “I’m not asking my neighbours to embrace coal mining or coal seam gas,” Mr Mosey said. “It’s RES Australia, a family-owned business with an international, credible track record.”

RES Australia’s Dan Leahy said the company’s plans were modified to take into account the concerns, including cutting 40 turbines from its proposal.

The company would build its remaining planned infrastructure around animal habitat. RES Australia also wanted to set up a conservation site near the wind farm.

The company said it had not seen any evidence of wind turbines increasing frost problems, nor was this an issue raised as part of other similar development applications.

The panel expected to decide on the application within a couple of months.


Source: https://www.adelaidenow.com...

MAY 23 2019
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