Australian news, and some related international items

Family First Party tries to stop wind energy for homes

Push to close turbine loophole before 10m-high structures are erected Emma Altschwager The Advertiser September 27,  HOUSEHOLDERS can cash in on wind power by erecting turbines up to 10m high in their backyard that could transform suburban skylines.

But the window of opportunity could be slammed shut by Family First, which wants to change development regulations and allow neighbours to have a say in the erection of any wind turbines in their street.

Under present regulations wind turbines are treated the same as
windmills and do not require any council approval if they are under
10m high or up to 4m high if on top of a building.

Wattle Park resident Don Evangelista was surprised when he found out
that his application to Burnside Council to erect a 6m turbine in his
back yard was not required. After taking legal advice Burnside Council
refunded Mr Evangelista’s $900 application fees earlier this month.
“As a licensed builder I was surprised I didn’t need council approval
for a turbine,” Mr Evangelista, of Redounau Cres, said yesterday.
“I’ve got solar panels already and combined with the turbine I should
be self-sufficient.”

The 77-year-old is negotiating with overseas suppliers for a 2kW
turbine valued at about $20,000, which he hopes to install within the
next couple of months. Mr Evangelista said his turbine would not
bother his neighbours because he lives at the end of the street and
next to bush in the foothills.

But Family First MP Dennis Hood wants to close the regulation loophole
because he fears suburban wind turbines could generate anger among

“These things can be noisy, unattractive and there are even
suggestions they can impact on people’s health, so neighbours should
be consulted before they are allowed,” Mr Hood said. “We will be
looking at legislative changes and will be writing to the Minister for
Planning, John Rau, seeking his input to any changes.”

Mike Davidson, who owns Wind Machines, said he has sold three wind
turbines to householders in the past 18 months.

“At present solar panels are a better deal because they are cheaper
and and have a feed-in tariff,” he said

“But if the State Government offered feed-in tariffs for wind it would
spark interest,” he said.


September 28, 2012 - Posted by | politics, South Australia, wind

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