Farmers lining-up behind turbines

Farmers lining-up behind turbines


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BIG PLUS: Hallett farmers Matt Hale, John Walters, Mark and Debbie Hale, and Rob Ashby, say wind farms have brought a number of benefits to the region and they would like to see more.

BIG PLUS: Hallett farmers Matt Hale, John Walters, Mark and Debbie Hale, and Rob Ashby, say wind farms have brought a number of benefits to the region and they would like to see more.

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FARMERS in the Mid North say they have been reaping rewards from massive wind farms constructed in the hills around Hallett since 2006.

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FARMERS in the Mid North say they have been reaping rewards from massive wind farms constructed in the hills around Hallett since 2006.

Old Ashrose Merino stud owner Rob Ashby, Hallett, has four new turbines on his land at Bluff Range.

He says they have provided a "perfectly good and legitimate" diversification to his business, which he runs with son-in-law Nick Wadlow.

"It shores up the viability of the property," Mr Ashby said.

"They're on a low-value hill - it's not heavy stocking areas - and they're away from agricultural aircraft activity so there is no crop spraying in the vicinity."

Mr Ashby said another big advantage was the new access made available to the hills, with a maintenance road recently used to help put out a fire sparked by a harvester. The company had also built new fences on his property.

"The immediate landholders do well," he said.

"Once you get away from that, some people talk about visual amenity.

"But I think there's a lot of other things around affecting visual amenity other than finished wind towers, and there is a lot of money going into the community."

Mr Ashby said the noise from the wind farms did not interfere with his business in anyway, with his ram shed situated within 1 kilometre of the turbines.

Broadacre farmer Mark Hale, Willogoleche, Hallett, is hoping to have turbines built on his land if Hallett 3 goes ahead.

He said farmers should have the opportunity to capitalise on any business opportunity with which they were presented.

"We should be able to take advantage of another enterprise that can contribute to making money from the land," he said.

"The land is our work and we want the opportunity to use it to our best advantage."

Robert Broad, Old Canowie, Hallett, says he fully supports wind farm development, despite receiving no direct financial benefit.

He lives and works in close vicinity to turbines on Bluff Range and says he can hear them in the early hours of the morning, or when the air is still.

"It's the cleanest way of producing electricity that I know of," Mr Broad said.

"Solar is alright, but when you turn the lights on at night, it doesn't work so well.

"The worst part about solar is you have to store it in lead acid batteries - talk about pollution."

*Full report in Stock Journal, February 2 issue, 2012.

The story Farmers lining-up behind turbines first appeared on Farm Online.

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