Noise engineer Steve Cooper to appear before planning panel looking at proposed Crystal Brook wind farm

EXPERT: Acoustics engineer Steve Cooper spoke to the media outside the State Commission Assessment Panel hearing at the Royal Port Pirie Yacht Club. Mr Cooper has advised the defence department on jet engine noise.
EXPERT: Acoustics engineer Steve Cooper spoke to the media outside the State Commission Assessment Panel hearing at the Royal Port Pirie Yacht Club. Mr Cooper has advised the defence department on jet engine noise.

An acoustics expert known as Dr Noise was expected to appear before a planning assessment panel in Port Pirie on Thursday.

The panel is determining its advice for the Planning Minister on a proposed multi-million-dollar wind farm at Crystal Brook.

Steve Cooper said audible and non-audible noise from wind farms could cause headaches, aching chests and legs, nausea, irritability and disorientation among nearby residents.

“With some people, the wife feels it and the husband doesn’t and vice-versa … you get families divided. It doesn’t affect everyone,” he said.

Dr Cooper has advised the Defence Department on noise thresholds for the Joint Strike Fighters and helped determine the best locations for airstrips.

“They call me Dr Noise. I am a noise engineer,” he said.

He said he would represent the concerns of four residents when he appeared before the panel.

“There is noise, absolutely,” he said of the possible fallout from the proposed development. It affects the sleep, health and well-being of residents. It is also noise that you cannot hear.

“Some of the noise is a hum. There are pulsations that are emitted by the turbines. You will hear a whoosh, whoosh, whoosh every 1.2 seconds. The body can receive that, but not necessarily hear it. We are talking about the biggest turbines yet to be built in Australia so we don’t know …

”If it is approved, there will be noise.” He warned of “ghost towns” around wind farms.

He said a “ghost town” had been created at Waterloo in South Australia after a wind-farm was built there because residents had abandoned their homes.

The nearest house to the Crystal Brook development, the panel had heard, was 1.3 kilometres away.

“The noise causes different effects on different people,” he said.

Mr Cooper spoke outside the panel hearing at the Royal Port Pirie Yacht Club.

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