Richard Paltridge – one man’s battle

Battling wind weasels, like Acciona, in Court has its own “special” charm – just ask Richard Paltridge.

Dick won – his landmark planning case in South Australia, but his opponents – including the rotten little Rann, State Labor Government – pulled every slimy trick in the book along the way.

Acciona – the subject of Marshall Madigan’s REC Fraud round-up at Waubra – is more than happy to tip a bucket on the established rules of adversarial contest with a “win at all costs approach”.  Here’s the tale as told by Dick.

Richard Paltridge

A case of BS.
By Richard Paltridge.

You may remember how in 2010/2011 I took the District Council of Grant in the SE of SA to the ERD court to have the decision of their Development Assessment Panel overturned.

Acciona took the decision to appendage themselves to the case, hoping no doubt to ensure their project at Allendale East/Eight Mile Creek would go ahead.

As you will also know their proposed project fell apart when the ERD overturned the DAP’s decision.

While I knew I was right to bring this case it was a daunting experience made worse by Acciona taking over the role of defending the approval from Council, who made little effort to defend themselves. Acciona drew the process out, probably believing I would ‘fall over’ and bow out. They were wrong.

However, sitting through it was an eye opener. What I saw was a disgrace, with a witness, Trish Godfrey intimidated and threatened even before she got in the witness box. Having met Trish some time before the case I was aware Acciona had bought her out, and I knew the reason.

When my lawyer, after being asked, told the judge our next witness would be Trish Godfrey members of Acciona’s entourage stood up, reaching for their phones while heading for the exit.

I was to meet with Trish a few hours later, but received a call from her to say she would not be able to give evidence, she had received a call from her solicitor telling her that they had heard from Acciona that she was going to give evidence, and they told them if she did she would be made an example of. Of course, Trish had little choice but to follow her solicitor’s instructions and leave the State.

When she was called and did not appear in court, as we had subpoenaed her as a witness was it possible she could have faced contempt charges?

I don’t know but Acciona obviously were running scared, why else would they have intimidated her, why would they have interfered with a court process.

Rather than hold her in contempt the judge called both sides’ lawyers into his room for a discussion. After returning to the court the judge called a break until after the Christmas holidays.

When the case resumed Trish was there to give evidence. However, during the break Acciona insisted she have a prepared statement, and she was not to answer any questions relating to health issues. Rather than Trish give evidence freely to questions asked she had to stick to pre-arranged answers that Acciona lawyers prepared for her.

Acciona had bought Trish Godfrey out, and the reason for this on the contract was because of visual amenity. If the contract was truthful you then have to wonder why they were so frightened of her answering questions about health, and why they were concerned enough to threaten her, to insist on determining what she could and couldn’t answer questions on.

How could this company dictate what evidence is given in a court by a witness for the other side? She was my witness not theirs.

Trish had been placed in an unenviable and uncomfortable situation; one which Acciona contrived by putting undue pressure on a witness. This may not have been a criminal court hearing, but is it OK to interfere with and intimidate witnesses even in this type of court?

If they were scared of Visual Amenity evidence why did they not stop her from answering questions relating to that, you really have to wonder. You also have to ask yourself the question why Acciona were so upset when later I won my case on Visual Amenity.

While this was perhaps the grossest example of their unsavoury behaviour it was not the only example.

Due the lack of worthwhile evidence, and seemingly not comfortably convinced their own ‘expert’ witness a Professor who had no experience in the field of noise and health relating to Industrial Wind Turbines, though plenty in male erectile dysfunction and weight problems was sufficiently compelling, they decided to use personal abuse and what were in essence defamatory remarks about the personal life of another of my witnesses. They attacked the person not the evidence, Acciona lawyers said marital problems were the cause of their illness not the noise from turbines.

This disgusting conduct and spurious claims with no substantiating evidence can only be seen as a lawyer with no valid counter argument to present to court.

This type of behaviour belongs in the gutter, not in a court room. My witness was not on trial, his reputation was not in question; what was, was whether his evidence was truthful, and it was up to Acciona’s lawyers to establish it was not by proving there were no health issues associated with Industrial Wind Turbines. Obviously they didn’t have any evidence so resorted to disgusting behaviour. They attacked the person not the evidence.

Should lawyers be allowed to intimidate witnesses in court by making false, demeaning claims about them? Should Acciona be allowed to intimidate a witness? Shouldn’t evidence and statements made by witnesses be their truth, in their words and not manipulated by lawyers, especially when the witness is not their witness?

This all from a company like all others in this industry who say they are good corporate citizens and only want to do good for and work for the communities they invade, and who try to give the impression they are doing nothing wrong, let’s face it it’s all BXXL SXXT.

Richard Paltridge
Allendale, South Australia

Acciona, a great bunch of lads!


Don’t take it so personally, Dick. It’s only ever
been about other people’s money.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. These wind companies,like Acciona, Australia’s Greatest Liars and the likes are DOGS of the worst kind because they don’t care if they destroy peoples lives. The personnel, high up in these wind companies, have not the GUTS to front up to the suffers of the industrial wind turbines. These personnel are the SCUM of the earth for what they are doing to the above suffers.

  2. Everyone who reads this should be motivated to call up Acciona and give them a piece of your mind! I’ve done it plenty of times. Make sure you use plenty of colorful language and threaten them with whatever you feel like because they are the most gutless company with a huge turnover of workers. The next time you do it, you will get someone else who is new and doesn’t know what’s going on.
    I suspect many of the staff must leave when they find out what’s going on. It’s a shame those in charge are the ones who are too spineless to talk or stand up in front of the public and explain what’s going on.

  3. Thank you Richard P for your courageous legal stand, telling it like it is, and exposing the lies, intimidation and unethical and threatening behaviour this industry is well known for nationally and internationally.

    And of the collusion with political mates that have helped them avoid independant scientific scrutiny and accountability, up to now.

    The industry can no longer hide from the truth. The sooner the independant scientific investigation the new Federal Government has promised, the better. Just so long as the Windy’s political mates now in power still have some principles of justice and fairness for neighbours impacted by turbines too close. Only then will this International ‘Green’ scam be held to account for its abuse of citizens, taxpayers, and the planet.

  4. This is not the Australia my late Husband went and fought for.
    What the Hell is going on?
    Talk about the Underworld.

    These people are THUGS .

  5. Melissa Ware says:

    There is emphasis to ‘trust’ these wind companies, that trust be built up in communities and supposedly smooth wind companies integration, to meet people, appear to listen, create images of doing right, community grants, a few jobs, the continued falsehoods that wind farms work, environment is saved, that unbelievably electricity is somehow now cheaper.

    Reality for too many, for too long is intimidation, threats, tactics, on-going suppression of truth, on-going trauma, pathetic personal attacks, never ending noise and vibration and worsening health. It is swathing desecration from one end of the country to another and our Government, local and state have condoned it.

    Australia needs to investigate the entire mess and end the process enabling such vilification of good people courageously and rightfully objecting to undemocratic wrongs.

  6. It’s people like Richard Paltridge who restores ones confidence in the honesty and courage of so many of our Aussie neighbours. However, what has happened to Richard is now unfortunately all too common in our country. The coal seam gas industry, like the wind industry, is another corrupt industry involving intimidation of victims and corruption at all levels of government. This interview with Heather Brown gives a taste of what residents of the Darling Downs in Queensland are now facing.

  7. Reblogged this on Mothers Against Wind Turbines and commented:
    Some windweasels will stop at nothing to get their evil deeds done!

  8. Thank you Richard Paltridge for helping to expose the devious way in which greedy completely morally bankrupt lawyers and wind companies act.

  9. David Mortimer says:

    If Richard could win on his grounds, it beggars belief that any industrial wind power installations are approved.

    Perhaps it is time to visit taking legal action against the current and proposed turbines in our locality?

  10. Jackie Rovensky says:

    This shows what lengths these people will go to, to get their own way.
    Well done Dick, standing up to these deep pocketed vermin can bring results that rebound through the whole industry.
    They must have believed they could win even with no evidence worthy of the name – you showed them they were wrong.
    It would have cost you a lot financially, and it shouldn’t have done, why is it individuals have to go to such lengths and cost to get justice?
    The project at Allendale should never even have reached the stage of being submitted to the Council Development Assessment Panel.
    Why are these projects allowed to proceed even before the community have had a chance to become well informed and able to say they do not want them? Why are the Councils so mute and unable to stand up for their communities – here in SA we know why – The Labor Government TELLS us what is going to happen and if the regulations need changing to ensure that’s what happens then they ride roughshod over us and change them. They’re not interested in whether it destroys lives and the environment, just as long as they APPEAR to be doing something.
    Again Dick job well done.


  1. […] Acciona has purchased, at least, 8 properties belonging to its numerous victims – making damn sure that the unwilling vendors all signed bullet-proof “gag” clauses – that prevent them from ever talking about the “sale” (see our post here). Trish Godfrey is just one tragic example (see this article and our posts here and here). […]

  2. […] Trish Godfrey is just one tragic example (see this article and our posts here and here). […]

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