Money talks – Hydro Tasmania caught out in “cash for votes” scandal on King Island

Why let democracy run its course, when a little “grease” can get the result you want?


Stock and Land reports on the latest windfarm developer skullduggery on King Island, which left STT struggling with the poser: when is a bribe, not a bribe?

Hydro ‘funds for votes’ accusation
Stock & Land
Shannon Twomey
24 May 2013

The State government-owned company Hydro Tasmania has been accused of offering incentives to committee members on King Island abattoir projects to secure votes for the company’s feasibility study into the TasWind project – a 600-megawatt wind farm proposed for the island.

Hydro Tasmania employees – new developments manager Tony Field and senior project manager Patrick Burke – met the King Island multi-species abattoir committee on Monday and it has been claimed the committee was offered funding for proposed abattoir projects if its support resulted in the feasibility study going ahead.

Multi-species abattoir committee chairman Chris Porter said many people were appalled by the suggestion.

“They didn’t mention a specific figure and generalised on the amount of money that would be given to the project but this was a definite attempt by Hydro Tasmania to sway public opinion in their favour with the offer of some cash,” he said.

Mr Porter said the move by Hydro Tasmania was disappointing because the Tasmanian Government had previously rejected their funding proposals for the multi-species abattoir project.

“This was really upsetting as Hydro Tasmania is a State-owned company – the State government either have the money to provide funding for projects such as this or they don’t,” he said.

Hydro Tasmania communications manager Ian Colvin confirmed the company had discussions with the group about the ways they could support the island’s beef industry, however he said it was in no way a “bribe”.

“We are disappointed anyone would make such a claim,” Mr Colvin said.

“We have been discussing with the community ways we could support King Island’s beef industry. We are keen to support the King Island community as it works through finding an appropriate solution to the challenges faced following the recent closure of the abattoir.

“One option is we could provide financial support for the development of a feasibility study or business plan in parallel with the TasWind feasibility stage (should it proceed). This contribution may be in the order of several hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Mr Colvin said if TasWind proceeds to development, Hydro Tasmania could make an equity contribution, on the community’s behalf, as part of the TasWind community benefits package to match funding to beef producers’ investments.

“As such the return on this equity stake could deliver an ongoing revenue stream for the community as well as assisting the viability of a critical industry,” he said.

The meeting between Hydro Tasmania and the multi-species abattoir committee came just days after the company gave in to community pressure and changed the format of its survey, used to determine the level of support for the feasibility study.

TasWind consultative committee president John Brewster said the committee discussed with Hydro Tasmania the wish of the island community members to have a straight out vote included in the survey.

“Hydro Tasmania have agreed to have a question in the survey which will be a straight yes or no to the feasibility study,” Mr Brewster said.

“It will be conducted by Tasmanian market researchers EMRS from June 7 and Hydro Tasmania have also agreed to have the results scrutinised.

“Mayor Greg Barrett and local businessman Jerry Perry will scrutineer the count, which will be independent of Hydro Tasmania.”

If there is a finding of 60 per cent in favour for the feasibility study, it will go ahead.
Stock & Land

Reminds STT of “Dish and Dishonesty”, which chronicles Blackadder’s efforts to win the election for Dunny-on-the-Wold, a rotten borough consisting of a tiny plot of land with several farm animals – 3 rather mangy cows, a Dachshund named Colin and a small hen in its late forties.

Up against Pitt the Younger, Blackadder reveals his cunning plan to the Prince Regent of just how they will win: “firstly, your Highness, we’ll fight the campaign on issues, not personalities; secondly, we’ll be the only fresh thing on the menu; and thirdly, of course, we’ll cheat.”


So, Blackadder, do you really think buying votes on King Island will work?
Why, of course, your Highness. It’s a plan so cunning you could stick a
tail on it and call it a weasel.


King Island has already sent one wind industry parasite, Leigh Ewbank packing. STT thinks it’s only a matter of time before it does the same with Hydro Tasmania.

And STT readers will have picked up that the magnanimous offer of “several hundreds of thousands of dollars” to come from the developer to the locals, amounts to the REC tax Hydro Tasmania would collect (at power consumers’ expense) from a single turbine in a single year. Isn’t it nice when the thief hands a little back to their victim. Ah, justice.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. The Squirrel says:

    So now the truth is laid bare. King Island is to be run and controlled by the Chinese if they get control and you Islanders vote for a feasibility study to proceed with a wind farm. I can just see your Island in 20 years, a vast deserted landscape with nothing but turbines, 100% subsidised by the Australian taxpayers, all going back to the ever-expanding coffers of China.

    Wake up Islanders: ” Stop These Things” NOW


  2. D.Martin says:

    King Islanders – wake up!
    This wind industry will cripple you – both physically and morally – and the Green Agenda will trample you into the landscape like so many on the mainland.

    Almost every town where these infernal contraptions are created withers on the vine as decent hard working agrarian folk contract a madness from sound only the few will ever escape. Infrasound – so widely documented across the globe in literally dozens of medical studies – will kill livestock, infect the communities and shatter rural lives like almost nothing before it.
    And for what? A kind of energy that hardly turns a fan, hardly heats a room, hardly powers a car.

    Stop these things now!

  3. Andrew Gabb says:

    Wake up King Island, it’s all about the money, nothing else.

    From my experience this is how the Windies operate. Secretive deals, no community consultation, lots of lies and deceit, not fully disclosing all the facts and a few winners who are stupid enough to fall succour to the Dollar, all at their neighbours and your communities expense.

    You should throw this one out full stop. Preserve your Island, look after your environment and each other. If you don’t, you will end up with the most divided community for generations to come. At the end of the day it’s not about jobs and growth, it should be about clean energy. Wind can’t provide that. We also subsidise it 100%. Dumb.

    I can’t emphasise enough to you all when it comes to a vote, throw it out now, or you will all pay the price for generations to come. You have too much to lose and no net gain. I speak from ten years of observation and fighting this corrupt industry, speaking to professionals and seeing first hand the damage done to people’s health and livelihoods. SAY NO NO NO for your own good.

    Andrew Gabb

  4. A typical ploy out of the wind developers book, just look at Waubra. The footy club get a bit, they can then pay players to come in from out of town to play for them (because no one lives there now).
    The same developers tried the same trick and offered money to the local school (which is now going to close due to the fall out from this event) the bowling club and a few others. It’s embarrassing that individuals take this bribe from these scumbuckets, at the expense of the community.

  5. I think, if my memory serves me correctly, Waterloo got a new playground and a shed, NOT Bad ????
    Just to help the community.

  6. Labor are as big a bunch of frauds, as the Clean Energy Council & the industrial wind turbine industry.


  1. […] In the first round, Hydro Tasmania promised King Island locals that unless 60% supported their planned project, they would simply abandon it – by dropping their planned “feasibility study” (see our posts here and here). Hydro Tasmania then set about buying the votes it needed to show 60% supporting its project (see our post here). […]

  2. […] it’s bribery and fraud; vote rigging scandals; tax fraud; investor fraud or REC fraud – wind weasels and their political enablers set a uniform […]

  3. […] how rotten the wind industry is – from top to bottom – and whether it’s bribery and fraud; vote rigging scandals; tax fraud; investor fraud or REC fraud – wind weasels set a uniform standard that would make […]

  4. […] how rotten the wind industry is – from top to bottom – and whether it’s bribery and fraud; vote rigging scandals; tax fraud; investor fraud or REC fraud – wind weasels set a benchmark that a snake can […]

  5. […] content with rigging the vote on whether King Islanders would have to ensure Islanders would have to go through the torture of a […]

  6. […] rotten the wind industry is – from top to bottom – and whether it’s bribery and fraud; vote rigging scandals; tax fraud; investor fraud or REC fraud – wind weasels set a benchmark that a snake can […]

  7. […] has already reported on the King Island “cash for votes scandal” and looked at the other deceptive methods used by Tasmanian Hydro to bring about a Chinese […]

  8. […] seems things aren’t that much different closer to home, where Hydro Tasmania has been accused of bribery and vote rigging in order to garner support for its Chinese Master’s proposal on King Island. And Acciona has been […]

  9. […] ask the locals how they “feel” about 200 turbines in a survey conducted by your own team; next, shower them with promises of a fat pile of cash to cement the results of the survey; and then stick up 600 of those lovable little puppies, instead […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: