Which Barry is our Barry?

YourPhotoBootherPhoto(1)YourPhotobootherFileThere’s an old saying. Seven days in politics makes one weak.

And last week we were fine tuning our blogging skills to applaud the Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell, for taking positive steps to bring wind farm operations under the control of the Environment Protection Authority.

However, on finding out that the NSW Environment and Heritage department, which oversees the EPA, is planning to run a pro-wind farm seminar, we are forced to ask further questions

Like what exactly is going on in the NSW Government? And who, in fact, is Barry O’Farrell?

Is he just another politician speaking with a forked tongue? A chinless crooner?  A nice old chap who used to matter? A political cross dresser? A true seventies man? A clown?

These are Barries, one and all. But is any one of them our Barry?

Or lastly, and perhaps most likely, maybe our Barry is not a Barry at all? Maybe he’s a Jim. As in Hacker.

Because Barry, from where we sit, it looks like you are having the wool pulled over your eyes, your common sense, your sense of justice and decency.

sir humphAnd this is being done by a public service running its own agenda, entirely apart from government policy and intention.

In August 2011 you said it was your opinion no new wind farms should be built in NSW.

And the Minister for Planning, Brad Hazzard,  announced an “independent” acoustic audit of wind farms at Cullerin Range, Capital and Woodlawn.

But as we understand it, his department issued a secret tender and excluded the one acoustician that has assisted residents and who has sought to get to the bottom of the problem.

Why would they do that?

Then that same department refused to allow independent observers to view the audit “as it would interfere with the independence of the auditor”.

Residents observed the noise from nearby turbines to be noticeably quieter during the audit.

The “independent” audit results were prepared in draft and given to the wind industry in early October 2012 for their comments.

Yes, you read that correctly. The department undertook its audit then gave the results to the organisations being audited for their “comment”.

bernardThis was cited by the Director of the Department of Planning to be  “in accordance with established auditing practice consistent with international standard AS/NZS ISO 19011:2003 Guidelines for quality and/or environmental management systems auditing (AS/NZS ISO 19011)”.

Straight out of the Sir Humphrey book, if you ask us.

And, if you also ask us, “if it looks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it’s a bloody duck.”duck

Jonathan Upson from Infigen has boasted to affected residents the audit gave his company a clean bill of health.

(Isn’t that great?)

Putting wind farms under the control of the EPA was to have been a long overdue step in protecting the community from excessive noise.

Residents supporting the amendments to the NSW Protection of the Environment Operations Act formed the opinion, on viewing the material issued by the EPA, that wind farms in New South Wales would be required to comply with other industries by not creating offensive noise.

To residents the intent of bringing wind farms under the control of the EPA was to ensure consistency with other industrial noise sources in the state of New South Wales.

But as we reported yesterday, the NSW Environment and Heritage department is in bed with the wind industry.

Here’s our question.

How can the government officers responsible for noise climb in this bed and not breach the Code of Ethics of the Australian Acoustic Society to protect the health and well-being of the community? screw

A recent article by acoustician Steven Cooper on the ethical dilemma faced by the acoustics sector has placed this matter firmly in the public domain.

How can you Barry, place wind farms under the control of the EPA, while at the same time let the office of Environment and Heritage, which controls the EPA, snuggle up nice and cosy with the wind industry?

And it doesn’t end there.

We understand there are loopholes in the proposal to amend the Protection of the Environment Operations Act that have all the clammy ham-fisted hallmarks of being written by the wind industry – or their stooges in the bureaucracy.

So to put it somewhat indelicately, the brown stuff runs thick on this issue.

BorsackUpper House Member Robert Borsack, of the Shooters and Fishers Party, has made the effort to seriously look at this.

He has traveled the state and is familiar with the problems associated with wind farms.

In late 2011 he stood with the residents of the Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group to object to the proposed Flyers Creek Wind Farm.

We understand he has raised matters in Parliament concerning wind farms and the draft wind farm guidelines issued by the NSW Department of Planning. And he has received no reply.

There must be consistency between the various government departments to protect the community from wind farms.

STT calls on you, Barry, in light of the changes to the Protection of the Environment Operations Act, to ensure the draft wind farm guidelines include offensive noise provisions and that the matter of sleep disturbance in rural environments is addressed and not expressed in terms of noise criteria typically used in suburban areas.

our barry. jpgSTT also calls on you to ensure the community comes first and foremost and the bureaucracy serves the public rather than big industry.

Barry, you’re our Barry. We’re depending on you. You’re the only true Barry we’ve got.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Wind Farms in Eastern Australia-Recent Lessons is paywalled at:


    A precis appears in SEPP The Week That Was under the heading “The Australian Experiment”

    Click to access TWTW%202-9-13.pdf

    I was lucky enough to read a free preview copy which has since been taken down.

  2. Kelpie Chilcott says:

    our local NSW Environment and Heritage rep does every thing for upstart except lay his cape over puddles may even be doing that by now


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