Govt advisor warns of wind farm dangers

Mike Smithson, 7News Adelaide

Govt advisor warns of wind farm dangers

One of the South Australian Government’s own advisors has blown the whistle on the dangers of building wind farms on prime agricultural land.

Former MP Peter Blacker is heading the Government’s independent council into windfarm impacts and came out swinging at a Parliamentary Committee today.

He said wind sheer from massive turbines sweep across vast areas, from farm to farm, and that creates a hazard during aerial bushfire fighting, and similarly when spraying herbicides and combating locust plagues.

Mr Blacker claims a 199-tubrine proposal for Yorke Peninsula could affect an 800 square kilometre area, and he called for such farming properties to be zoned windfarm-free.

“Probably 97 per cent of South Australia could be available to windfarms without affecting prime agricultural land,” he said.

Committee chairman David Ridgeway said: “There will be an impact, and that needs to be fully explored.”

Mr Blacker also raised concerns about the contracts signed by farmers who agree to house turbines on their properties.

He said secrecy clauses prevent them from speaking out if they change their mind.

“Land values have dropped considerably where a wind farm is on it,” Mr Blacker said.

The Greens support renewable energy, but strongly reject Mr Blacker’s assessment.

“Your property is worth more, not less,” Greens MP Mark Parnell said.