Concerns Expressed About Gas Fired Power Station Noise on Wellington Residents’ Sleep

Windfarm ‘noise’ cause for concern

Source: The Wellington Times Credit : Farren Hotham

8th August, 2014

The Waubra Foundation’s Sarah Laurie has become the champion of rebels with a cause speaking out over the Bodangora Windfarm project, and now the proposed ERM Power gas-fired power station which has been given an five-year extension by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission.

However it doesn’t mean the ERM power project will get up soon.

Ms Laurie is backing calls by a local man, Nat Barton, who has had a long running dispute with the power company over noise impacts.

Mr Barton owns the historic property ‘Nanima’.

Miss Laurie said she shared his concerns for himself and other members of the community who are located within the acoustic impact zone of this development.

“I know about what happened at Uranquinty power station in NSW near Wagga,” she said.

“The precise distances of the acoustic impact zone from this design of turbine is unknown, because there is no public data I can find relating to the exact noise emissions (rather than models) from these turbines in frequencies below 200 Hz, particular in the infrasound and very low frequency noise part of the sound spectrum.

“These frequencies are particularly penetrating, and the proposed sound barrier for Nanima therefore may not prevent the symptoms of “annoyance” which include repetitive sleep disturbance,” she said.

Ms Laurie claims “residents’ reports at Origin Energy’s Uranquinty gas-fired power station, (prior to being silenced with non-disclosure clauses as part of their property buy out agreements), suggest that there was a significant infrasound and low frequency noise component involved in the noise emissions.

“However in the absence of adequate public information about either the residents’ experiences of the full spectrum of acoustic emissions inside and outside their homes, the likely emissions and impacts of the proposed Wellington development remain unknown.”

Mr Barton has written to the NSW Planning Assessment Commission and also to the Wellington Correctional Centre with his concerns over the proposed gas fired power station.

“Mr Barton is well aware of the expensive planning and noise pollution regulation debacle at Uranquinty Gas Fired Power Station, despite the best attempts of those responsible to ensure that those affected (residents) or professionals (acousticians) were all silenced with non disclosure clauses,” Ms Laurie said.

Source: Wellington Times 8th August, 2014 Author: Farren Hotham