LETTER: Fighting WIND and FIRE

LETTER: Fighting WIND and FIRE

03 May 2013

published by www.yasstribune.com.au

Australia — Dear fellow residents,

Consider the impact on fighting the recent bush fires from the ground or the air if wind turbines were present.

Would aerial fire crews and grounds crews have been able to halt the fires where they did? Air support was on the scene of the Cobbler Road Fire within 2 hours. It might seem sensible to draw the conclusion it was strategically important. Some concerned residents are hoping a “no air support” scenario due to proposed turbines will be included in post event research modeling being conducted for the NSW Rural Fire Service.

In seeking my own information to determine what place if any turbines have in the many bush fire prone areas of Yass Valley I was alarmed to find no hard Australian based research has been commissioned.

This week I spoke with NSW RFS Deputy Commissioner Rob Rogers who acknowledged the hazard turbines present as a high structure only and he pointed out there appears to be no research specifically related to any turbulence they might generate and effects on aircraft and nothing on the structural integrity of these steel towers should they come under the intense heat of an Australian bush fire. Mr Rogers told me the RFS would welcome such research.

The recently proposed 47 million dollar Federal Bush Fire and Natural Hazards CRC would be an obvious starting block for Yass Valley to ask for Australian research into turbines in bush fire prone areas. I am suggesting to fellow Councillors we request state and federal governments place a moratorium on turbine approvals until such research has been conducted and an informed determination on turbines by fire authorities such as RFS is forthcoming.

I believe it is time turbine sites become a complying development which would be required to meet fire hazard mitigation measures.

Council is also considering a broader anti wind turbine motion proposed by Deputy Mayor Geoff Frost. The motion is a shot across the bow for State and Federal governments in an attempt to halt the invasion of large scale industrial turbines in Yass Valley. The message in the motion is clear. Turn back now to avoid disaster on a number of fronts including restrictions to aviation, tourism, property devaluation, health, undermining the new LEP, damage to roads and so on.

The magnitude of new turbines ear marked for Yass Valley is of a scale we have not yet encountered with some sites potentially gaining approval in June this year. The sites would span many kilometres and include about 500 new turbines.

Consider your own home sandwiched between opposing valley ridges lined with hundreds of turbines. It’s the future looming on the horizon for residents with properties nestled between the proposed Rye Park, Rugby and Bango turbine sites. Will it be your future soon and what will be your bush fire preparation plan then?

Jasmin Jones, Yass Valley Councillor

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