Court case to watch! (Australia)

Oct 14, 2011


“Case puts wind farms in doubt”

This image was not included in the original article—Editor

—Rebecca Puddy, The Australian (10/14/11)

A court challenge in South Australia could disrupt plans to develop wind farms across the country after AGL Energy conceded tests at its wind farm in the state’s northeast detected a tonal noise above government-set limits.

The legal challenge by South Australian farmer Bill Quinn centres on an argument that the turbines in AGL Energy’s Hallett Wind Farm emit excessive noise that results in the sleep deprivation of residents living within 3.5km.

“It’s the noise of the things and how close they are to houses,” Mr Quinn said yesterday.

“The sound flows like water from the blades of the turbines, and it’s so bad up around Mount Bryan that many people have been forced to move away.”

The Victorian government last month honoured an election promise to place strict controls on how close wind farm developments could be built in proximity to houses and regional towns.

In NSW, the O’Farrell government is reviewing restrictions on wind farm developments that could put similar controls in place.

After losing his court case in the state’s environment court in November last year, Mr Quinn yesterday began his appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn the Goyder Council’s approval for AGL Energy to develop Hallett Wind Farm, a project comprised of five wind farms and more than 200 turbines.

Mr Quinn’s appeal hinges on new evidence discovered since losing his initial court case: evidence AGL found wind turbines at Hallett Wind Farm emitted an audible tonal noise.

In a statement to the Supreme Court, Mr Quinn’s counsel, Brian Hayes QC, said noise testing conducted since the initial trial had resulted in AGL shutting down eight of its turbines and showed neither AGL’s existing wind farm nor the proposed wind farm were “capable of satisfying the Environmental Protection Authority’s wind turbine noise limit of 40 decibels”.

The manufacturer of the turbines, Suzlon, continues to expand its operations in Australia. In August, it announced plans to build a further 180 turbines on South Australia’s Yorke Peninsula.


  1. Comment by Lachlan on 10/15/2011 at 8:31 pm

    I went to Waterloo. South Australia, last week to visit and was a bit of a sceptic until the misery of extreme tinnitus and upset stomach for 2 days had me beat a hasty retreat back to Adelaide.

    Four to 6 hours after leaving, my system slowly returned to normal next day and, since then, NO further problems.

    As a result, my sympathy goes out to those who have been forced to desert their homes in this and many other Australian and world communities. Maybe this is the start of some justice to make up for all the coverups and outright deceptions inflicted on these good people.

    I also believe a recent TV program aired in South Australia needs to be revisited, and I hope they can be a lot more honest with their effort next time and include some of these displaced families—driven out of their homes in the name of corporate greed.
    corporate greed

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