Testimony, Sue Corrigan, Capital, Senate Inquiry into Rural Wind Farms

Senate Inquiry into the Social and Economic Effects of Windfarms

Sue Corrigan, Capital, New South Wales
Submission number 865

I am glad of the opportunity to respond to this inquiry with the following concerns:

The planning process seems to be deficient in that turbine location can be changed between the time of approval and that of construction without any further consultation with affected residents. I did not object to the Woodlawn windfarm which was the first proposed in this area as it is not too close to residential premises or to Lake George, but was appalled to find that with this, Woodlawn and the Capital windfarms turbines are now almost surrounding my home, some of which are less than 2 kilometres away.

My home was built in its location to take advantage of the panoramic views of Lake George and the surrounding hills and farmland, views which have now been almost completely destroyed by the intrusion of industrial scale, enormous wind turbines. At the first public exhibition of the proposal by Infigen (then Babcock and Brown), I was told by a company representative that I was stupid for having my house in its position and facing north. I am very much in favour of green energy, my house is solar passive as well as being powered by a stand alone solar system, before it was possible to be connected to the grid. However I strongly believe that there should be as small as possible impact on environmentally and socially sensitive areas.

Wind turbine noise causes me much distress, I am repeatedly woken in the night causing sleep deprivation, depression and anxiety. On calm winter nights I have to keep turning the TV up to mask the sound which is so loud; often at these times the sound can be felt physically in the body.

Shadow flicker makes me ill, causing migraines, vomiting and diaorrhoea, when the sun is going down in the northerly aspect; I can’t be outside at this time or be comfortable in my home with the flicker all around me.

Stress caused by the whole process of the building and operating of these windfarms underlies my whole life. At no time were my wishes to be contacted by mail rather than by phone respected by the company or NSW Planning.

My requests for a company representative to visit my home to assess the visual impact were made impossible by their inability to come when I was at home, e.gg outside my working hours.

Because of my objections to the windfarm I believe I was subjected to intimidation and harassment.

Prior to the approval being given for Capital Windfarm, I was visited by a representative of NSW Planning, who told me that because the Government wanted the project to go ahead no objections by anyone would change that decision.

I am deeply concerned regarding the environmental damage caused by large scale windfarms and that the power produced is negligible in comparison. The environmental planning process seems to have been weakened to allow these developments to take place with little public scrutiny.

The protection of Indigenous heritage in the area surrounding Lake George is also of great concern as we know there are sites and scattered artefacts close to the project. I would appreciate knowing that these would be properly surveyed and conserved as I believe this to be important heritage for all Australians.

I would be happy for members of the Senate inquiry committee to visit my home to see for themselves the reality I face. I am also happy to provide any further information the committee needs.

I am attaching a copy of my submission to NSW Planning regarding the proposal to build Capital11 Windfarm

Sue Corrigan

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