How to live a quiet life in the shadow of a wind farm
In the early years of the wind farm boom, the community in western Australia was mostly quiet, save for a handful of local families who were taking on the role of “guardians”.
Now, with a windfarm in the area, the population is expected to soar and a boom in tourism has brought the community to the forefront.
ABC reporter Simon O’Connor spent five days with residents of Wollongong and spoke to some of the people who live and work in the town centre, as well as the people whose lives were impacted by the boom.
Wind farm boom residents talk about life in Wollockong Wind farm residents in Wollsong are worried about the health of the town.
”We have a lot of people here who are ill, they have health problems, they can’t go out,” resident Lisa Parnell told the ABC.
”There’s a lot more than just a few people here that are getting ill because they’re not eating properly.
”People have nowhere to go.
They’re living in the back yard, living in that little dinghy that they’ve got, so they can be out on the town for days at a time.”
Ms Parnells daughter has asthma, and is a regular visitor to the community centre.
But there are concerns for her mother, as she has asthma as well.
”She has asthma and she’s not able to get out into the community at the moment,” she said.
”I just want her to be able to breathe, because she’s a very strong, strong woman.”
Ms O’Conner said the community has also been impacted by climate change, and they were being forced to deal with the impacts of the weather.
”They’re seeing this as an economic threat and that’s the only reason why they’re here,” she explained.
”The wind farm is just putting pressure on them.”
Wollooong is a small community with a population of about 2,200.
Photo: Paul Smith This is the fourth time in two decades that the town has been hit by the windfarm boom, and it is expected that the number of people in Wolsong will increase in the coming years.
The town is home to about 200 residents, including three children.
”It’s a pretty bleak place, we’ve had a lot and we’ve been really, really affected,” resident Linda Boon said.
A community in the spotlight When the boom was first announced in 2008, the town’s population was about 1,000.
But in recent years, Wollowong has been affected by rising temperatures, drought and the closure of many businesses.
Residents were concerned about the effect the wind farms would have on their town, and the residents are worried that the windfarms could cause a health crisis.
Wollogong resident Lisa Boon is concerned about her health and says the wind turbines could affect the health. Photo