Government announces wind farm audit

IN A BID to appease residents concerned about the health effects of wind farms, the state government has commissioned an independent noise audit of three wind farms to ensure they are meeting their approval conditions.

Planning Minister Brad Hazzard said the audit will cover the Capital, Cullerin Range and Woodlawn wind farms in southern NSW.

"I asked the department of planning and infrastructure to undertake this audit, following continued resident complaints about noise issues," Mr Hazzard said.

"Although investigations conducted by the department to date have found the wind farms are complying with noise limits, the department is continuing to receive noise complaints from nearby residents.

"To address this, the government will engage an independent, specialist noise consultant to determine the issue."

The audit will also provide information on low-frequency noise from these wind farms to provide input into the finalisation of statewide wind farm guidelines.

Other issues including visual amenity, flora and fauna impacts, blade flicker, community contributions and electromagnetic interference will also be assessed as part of the audit, Mr Hazzard said.

"The audit process will include a questionnaire, meetings and a public information line. It is expected to begin this month and take until August to complete," Mr Hazzard said.

"Wind farms will play an important part in the state's energy future.

"However, it is important the community has confidence these installations are operating in line with their consent conditions and they are not diminishing a local community's lifestyle."