TURBINE TROUBLE: Judy Pickering is concerned about the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm.
TURBINE TROUBLE: Judy Pickering is concerned about the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm. Michael Nolan

Coopers Gap decision to be made on EIS by March

A DECISION on the Coopers Gap wind farm project will be made by the state government next month.

Cooranga beef producers Judy and Harry Pickering have lived on their property south of Kumbia for the past 15 years.

Although the Pickering's do not agree with the wind farm project, they believed it will go ahead regardless.

This month the Environmental Impact Statement was released to the public and the office of the coordinator general is expected to make a decision on the project next month.

Mrs Pickering said she went on the tour of the Victorian wind farms with an open mind and the turbines didn't bother her while she was there, however she said she spoke to some people who lived near the turbines that had issues with ultrasonic or low frequency noise.

"It was bothering them at night, they had to leave their homes three nights a week,” she said.

"Not everybody is bothered by them, but we don't want to see them on our front veranda.”

The main house on the property would be three kilometres from a turbine.

Mrs Pickering said if the wind farm went ahead and they could not sleep, they would complain, but could move to one of their other homes and travel back to the farm.

"We just hope that they don't bother us,” she said.

At a community meeting earlier this month in Cooranga North, project manager Evan Carless said the company took into consideration noise and potential economic benefits for the region. The OCG made its decision after taking all public submissions into account.

At a Community Consultative Committee (CCC) meeting held at the Cooranga North Memorial Hall earlier this month AGLannounced that the Queensland Office of the Coordinator-General has accepted the Coopers Gap Wind Farm Environmental Impact Statement as final.

"The project is moving along well. From here the OCG will evaluate the EIS and provide a final determination,” he said.

"Continually consulting with the community throughout the process is a priority and a fundamental element to the success of the project.”

Wind farm EIS available to view

THE environmental impact statement for the Coopers Gap wind farm has been released for public viewing.

Several issues that Cooranga North landholders had have been addressed in the EIS.

These include noise and vibration, shadow flicker and electromagnetic interference.

The EIS said in regard to the noise and vibration the wind farm would produce, its operational noise limits were considered acceptable and in accordance with requirements of the Queensland Wind Farm State Code.

The state code says that all noise levels should not exceed 45 decibels from 10pm to 6am, and background noise by more than 5 decibels on host lots.

On non-host lots the noise should not exceed 37 decibels during the day and 35 decibels during the night.

Other concerns have been raised about the wind farm's impact on the scenery.

The project is likely to be visible from the northern elevated and exposed parts of the Bunya Mountains National Park, however there are no formal walking tracks through this part of the park.

The EIS found the turbines would not alter the reasons that the Bunya Mountains was a national asset and it was not likely the turbines would be able to be seen from lookouts and walking tracks.

Shadow flicker was also a concern and could be in excess of the 10-hour limit recommended in the Queensland wind farm planning guide.

Shadow flicker is the casting of a moving shadow over neighbouring areas and can occur at different times of day. Another concern, electromagnetic interference, the EIS identified there would be no impact to telecommunication systems, however digital televisions could potentially experience interference. For more, go to www.statedevelopment.qld. gov.au.

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