Fear and loathing blowing through the bush

From The Daily Telegraph, February 21, 2013 Journalist: Andrew Carswell AGGRIEVED farmers from NSW’s central west are gearing up for the mother of all legal battles, fighting an enemy that has ripped apart their communities and pitted neighbours against each other. Their targets – wind farms. As the federal government fumbles over its proposed report on the health implications of wind farms, and the state government continues to waver on its position on the renewable energy source, farmers dotted between Mudgee and Wellington are already at war. It’s a bitter dispute that has changed the fabric of once-selfless, community-minded towns, ended friendships that have carried on for generations, and caused divisions in local pubs and even the volunteer Rural Fire Service. And at the core of the fallout is money. Four major wind farms are proposed in the farming communities around Mudgee and Wellington. The biggest is proposed for Uungula, courtesy of Wind Prospect, which seeks to build 250 turbines, some as high as 194m with a blade length of 65m.

Lyons

Father and son farmers Michael and Nick Lyons, of Mt Bodangora
Pic: Peter Lorimer Source: The Daily Telegraph

****

Some farmers will be squeezed between two adjacent wind farms, Uungula and Bodangora, proposed to be built on land their neighbours have offered to the wind farm companies for upwards of $15,000 per turbine annually

Upset farmers say their neighbours are selling out on them, gobbling up the cash and leaving their farms surrounded by wind turbines within 2km of their homes – potentially devaluing their properties by an estimated 30 per cent. Noise is a major concern – opponents says the persistent whirring and thumping of the turbines can lead to stress and sleep loss. And massive roadworks, earthworks and blasting will be required to produce foundations the size of Olympic swimming pools. It is war – and destined for class action if the proposed wind farms are approved. Lyn Jarvis, whose elevated property will stare directly into a wind farm, feels she is “pushing shit uphill”, given she feels government departments are against their cause. She cites a meeting to be held in Yass next Thursday where farmers who will host wind turbines on their property will meet to discuss their fight. It is a meeting hosted by the Department of Environment and Heritage. “Legal action will be the only recourse we will have left,” she said. Farmer Terry Conn said the breakdown in relationships between neighbours had been the hardest thing for the community to digest. “I can certainly say it’s been catastrophic, what’s happened to the communities and relationships. People who have been friends and neighbours for generations now don’t talk to one another,” he said. Families that once had Christmas together, who gathered in each other’s homes every Friday night for a drink, who cried on each other’s shoulders through droughts, now despise each other. Goolma sheep farmer Ross Conn said the issue had ended his close friendship with one neighbour. “It’s pretty devastating,” he said. “My wife and his wife used to talk to each other on the phone all the time. That doesn’t happen any more. We used to celebrate milestone birthdays together.” One prominent wool farmer, who has won extensive awards for the quality of his produce, is frightened the imminent arrival of wind turbines within 2km of their homestead will chase them off the land. “To think this is all about money,” said the farmer, who did not want his name published for fear of reprisals. Farmer Michael Lyons said the division in Goolma had forced him to restructure his Rural Fire Service rosters. He now has to pair host farmers up with other host farmers on patrol. It has got that personal.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    From The Daily Telegraph, February 21, 2013 Journalist: Andrew Carswell AGGRIEVED farmers from NSW’s central west are gearing up for the mother of all legal battles, fighting an enemy that has ripped apart their communities and pitted neighbours against each other. Their targets – wind farms. As the federal government fumbles over its proposed report on the health implications of wind farms, and the state government continues to waver on its position on the renewable energy source, farmers dotted between Mudgee and Wellington are already at war. [ 513 more words. ]

    https://stopthesethings.com/…/fear-and-loathing-blowing-thro…

  2. It’s interesting to note that the NSW State Government plans approx 4000 Wind Turbines. Hard to get a factual figure but based on an error by the Wind farm development proposal at Yass, where they gave a total cost and the number ot Turbines in the same article one would reasonably guess at approx 7 Million dollars each. Add to this figure the huge cost of subsidies per Turbine, the tax concessions,and the interest paid, which we as Tax payers all have to pick up, the huge cost of increase in electricity due to each inefficient Turbine, one could come up with a figure exceeding 10 Million each. Multiply this by 4000 and you have a staggering 40 Billion dollars, larger that the NBN [ which incidently works all the time unlike these things, estimate by some scientists at %27 ] With this sort of money and we havn’t even factored in Victoria and South Australia, it’s no wonder our Politicians are screwing us. Just imagine the back room deals etc going on. The Public have to be informed how this staggering cost of wasted Public money, is being passed on throught high electricity costs and an increase in Federal Taxes or a decrease in Public funds due to missmanagement of same.Ask yourself one question, “What could we have with this amount of money” One answer of couse would be, “Something that actually works”

  3. Grant Winberg says:

    It is now public knowledge that “..The (NSW) Coalition government received advice on Wednesday from …David Ipp, QC, and Bret Walker, SC,…that the state planning minister already had the power to consider the public interest.” No more hiding behind the perceived threat of developer legal action based on so called retroactive imposition of appropriate guidelines on ALL existing and proposed wind turbine industrial estates, whether or not applications by wind turbine industrial estate developers were lodged in a hurry during the last days of the NSW Labor govt. Can there be any doubt that Mr Carswell’s article presents a picture of the public interest being disregarded by government and its bureaucracy in Australia in regard to the imposition of greed and suffering on Australian rural communities.

  4. I think its time someone took legal action against a developer personally, not their company, but a individual, a director etc.
    These people are causing great loss, whether it be financial or social and need to be held accountable.
    I remember when the people at Smeaton sent legal letters to the host landholders of the now dead tuki windfarm it really stirred them up and the developers hated it. You really need to think outside the box, do the unexpected, target individuals, not companies (the wind companies are worthless).
    Threaten all the farmers involved with legal action and get a laywer to send them a letter.
    Make the developers feel unwelcome in your town, intimidate them, thats what they are trying to do to you, give it back in spades!

  5. Jackie Rovensky says:

    It seems the only thing that will stop this nightmare, which is playing out around this nation and the world is a BIG court case.
    It’s a shame things have gone so far that this has to be considered.
    There are meant to be safeguards to protect people, but it seems all levels of authority which have the ability to protect us have become impotent.
    It’s amazing how stealth created a situation where those who could do something are now too ashamed to admit they were duped, so continue to let the nightmare continue.

  6. The Callous Wind says:

    You would have thought this article was written about the Ceres Wind Turbine Project here on Yorke Peninsula. This also will be the ‘mother of all battles’. How are these developers, who seem to have no morals whatsoever, allowed to come in and destroy communities who have lived, worked and socialized together for on wards of one hundred and fifty years? I have never seen anything like it in my life. The old adage ‘money is the root of all evil’ is certainly played out here. Take the REC’s out and see how many wind turbines get erected.

    I wish all the farmers and others in the Mudgee/Wellington area all the best in their fight against the turbines and ensure them that we are also fighting right along with them, the truth will eventually triumph.

  7. It’s tragic! This story is repeated over and over again – in any of the increasing number of communities where Big Wind comes to town. It is not how we see ourselves – as resourceful, community minded Australians always willing to lend a hand and step up to the plate when our neighbours are in trouble. And it’s not just the emotional costs. The Government(s) need to realise (of course they know already, but do they care?) that there is a financial cost incurred as well, which indeed may end up coming back to the tax payer. Increased medical costs, increased costs when bushfires cannot be dealt with appropriately, decreased rates to Councils when the message of reduced property values finally sinks in, decreased farm income, etc etc. And dare I say, increased electricity costs?
    Time for this insanity to stop!

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