Victims: Andrew and Maggie Reid

Andrew and Maggie ReidSTT would like to introduce you to Andrew and Maggie Reid, who have a farm near Waubra which is surrounded by wind turbines. They are impacted by the noise (headaches, head pressure) but the focus of this story is how it has impacted their community life.  Andrew is a 5th generation farmer in the area and has a long history of being a part of community sporting clubs – but no more. They can’t even go into town without being chided by hecklers. They feel that the coming of the wind industry (Acciona) to Waubra has cost them their right to free speech, their right to association and their right to property (4.27).

Transcript

Meet Andrew and Maggie Reid – who live next door to the Waubra Wind farm in Victoria.

Andrew: I wasn’t … I’d heard that they were a bit of a white elephant, but I didn’t think that it would really affect me that much. And I was glad for some of the people that got them, for the extra income. ‘Cause things had been relatively hard in rural Australia for a fair while at that stage. And you felt sort of glad that it might have been something good for the district, and that they might have been good for the environment and that sort of thing.

And when they turned them on, it was a different matter. We didn’t mind them that … We were quite happy to put up with the sight of them, that didn’t concern us that greatly, although we didn’t want them 360 degrees around us.

There is 29 within two and a half kilometres of this property. The nearest ones are a kilometre.

Maggie: So we were conned. We believed it, we believed that we were doing something for the environment, we believed that we were doing something for global warming, and we were conned. We were lied to and we were conned.

Andrew: They look as though the politicians are doing something. In actual effect, we’re no closer to a solution to clean energy, and that’s the disappointing thing about it, is that people’s lives have been hurt for something that’s not going to deliver the power, base load power.

No, it hasn’t been a level playing field. We’ve been vilified and basically slandered every step of the way. Simply ’cause we told the truth, and that’s as hurtful as anything, that no one listened and then they turn around and vilify you for giving your side of the story. We wondered whether we were in Australia at times.

Yes, I was.

Maggie: Yes, Andrew was. I wasn’t, I’m a newbie.

Andrew: I played cricket here for 25 years of my life, well 20 anyway. I was treasurer and played with the local bowling club for … I was treasurer for five years, always had some sort of job in the club in the seven years I played. I was on numerous committees at different times. And that’s the first thing that happens is that they buy off the sporting clubs. And you just get the impression that nothing ever happened before the wind company got here.

Maggie: We can’t go near Waubra. You came through Waubra today [crosstalk 00:03:01]

Andrew: We don’t want to now.

Maggie: We don’t want to, but we can’t either, because it’s just such an unpleasant experience. We drive on Saturday morning to Learmonth to pick up the paper, because we don’t want to have to confront, “Oh, have you got a headache? Nah, nah, nah, nah. What’s the matter with you? Why don’t you get out of town? Why don’t you just shut up? You’re causing our houses to be devalued.” And you’ve gone to buy a paper?

Andrew: In this whole thing we’ve … first of all, we lost our freedom of speech, it seemed. Then we lost our freedom of association, because people were vilified for who they hung around with and who they associated with. And three, we lost our right to property. Now the right to property doesn’t seem as big as the others, but it’s a right that most Australians take for granted, you would think.

You can see and hear other victim impact statements here.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. These people are genuine and deserve to be heard. The fact that people are made to feel outcasts in their own district is sad. Simon Chapman a proponent of turbines is at it again today denigrating these people who have come forward why does he not meet them or does his alliance with wind power not allow this to happen. Perhaps he might even reply to some of the questions posed to him by STT?

  2. It’s funny how these hecklers think its ok to carry on like this to local people. But once they get outside the area or have others talk to them about it, they go back in their shells.
    Wind power’s tactic was to target sporting clubs for support. The Waubra footy club is number one on the gravy train, they also targeted other clubs in the area where they proposed turbines in Beaufort, Smeaton, Newlyn and others. This tactic is used to get mass support on side with the offer of money and sponsorship.
    It’s interesting to note that the main architect of this tactic is now the president of the Hawthorn footy club. I wonder how it would be looked upon by other clubs and the AFL if it was known he was bribing small clubs and not disclosing the truth about his product and breaking apart small communities in the process? Just as it’s done in Waubra.

  3. Andrew & Maggie, we do feel for you and only hope the 115 3MW turbines that are planned for the foot hills of the Bunya Mountains never get the go ahead. The things have not even been built and one turbine host and a neighbour are already at odds. They had spent each Friday night together at the bowls club for years, now the turbine host ignores the neighbour whenever they see each other. Another has put chains and padlocks on the dividing gates so if a beast gets into the neighbours property, there is no way to get it out.
    It is ripping this community apart as well. 18 turbine hosts have just been to Hallett for a “pee in your pocket” trip organized by AGL. We can’t wait to see what lies they come home with.
    Let’s hope the rally is well attended and we acheive our goal.
    Best of luck to you both.

  4. Andrew and Maggie Reid, Thank you for speaking out. We have the same problems in Waterloo SA. We have neighbours yelling and screaming at us as well. It is as we are the problem and NOT the Turbines. It is amazing how people change once they have been living with turbines for month or years.

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