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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

19 August 2005

Community consultation urged on SA wind farms

Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator Ian Campbell has urged the South Australian Government to pay greater consideration to community concern over the proposed Sellicks Hill wind farm.

Senator Campbell raised the issue following a representation from Alexander Downer, the Member for Mayo, who had been inundated with correspondence from local residents wanting to discuss the proposed development.

Although the proposed wind farm does not require approval from the Australian Government, I am conscious that community concerns need to be taken into account in the development of all wind farms. I asked my Department some time ago to commission an expert study into the cumulative impacts of wind farms on birds. I expect to receive the results of that study shortly.

He said that while the Australian Government supported the establishment of wind farms as part of its policy to develop renewable energy sources, this had to be done in a way that balanced that need and the concerns of local people and their environment.

“Wind turbines are an important component of the Australian Government’s suite of initiatives that we are funding to develop renewable energy sources, but it is important that community views about such proposals be taken into account,” Senator Campbell said.

“South Australia already has 148 turbines operating, far more than any other State, so there is bound to be heightened community interest in new proposals.”

Senator Campbell said a recent South Australian Electricity Supply Industry Planning Council report had led the Essential Services Commission of South Australia to conclude that significant increases in wind energy generation in the State would pose challenges to maintaining reliability of electricity supply.

“In light of these issues it is vital that genuine consultation takes place and that the community’s concerns are heard and addressed,” he said.

“The South Australian Government also needs to take this report into account when it assesses new wind farm licenses.”

Media contact:
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434

Commonwealth of Australia