I have a major concern with the threat to the safety of the public who use Goulburn Road that is posed by at least three of the turbines in the Crookwell II wind farm.
A near-neighbour of the project, the community representatives of the Community Consultative Committee, the council’s acting general manager and I all raised this safety concern with the Department of Planning and Environment.
The department asked its compliance officer to look into the matter and he has now filed his report.
Unfortunately, the report is completely inadequate in that it totally ignores the real public safety issue and concerns itself only with verifying whether or not the said turbines are located at their 2004-approved sites.
The council’s Development Control Plan for wind turbines requires them to be set back at least twice their tip-height from a public road.
This prudent measure is designed to minimise the risk of road accidents due to driver distraction, ice-throw from spinning blades, fragment-throw from blade shatter, and turbine fire; and even from tower collapse.
These mishaps, while not frequent, certainly are not uncommon overseas.
The compliance officer’s report sadly dismisses this safety-based control by stating that the Minister, not the council, was the consent authority.
I end this letter with the same observation of my previous letter: these turbines pose a definite safety risk to the public who use busy Goulburn Road, and if the developers persist in erecting them, then they are putting the subsidised income they will get from the three turbines above the safety of the public.
Sadly, since 2004, and moreso now having been alerted to the risk, the State Government is complicit in this negligence.