PAC Chair Garry West: Ignorance is the New “Black”

Garry West PAC

Garry West on the right: apparently, ignorance is the new “black”.


STT readers will recall our coverage of the sordid decision by the NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) to spear 55 giant fans right into the heart of a peaceful and thriving NSW Tablelands community called Collector.

The PAC was quite happy to overlook a suite of lies, treachery and deceit tossed up by Thai-turbine-terrorists, RATCH and their hired goons.

Their Number 1 – Nick Valentine – set new lows in the “win-at-all-costs” approach taken by Australian wind scammers – and that’s saying something. Nick created a character called “Frank Bestic” in a “clever” attempt to infiltrate his opponents – an effort that would have made the KGB proud.

But – STT wonders why Nick bothered?  The PAC was stacked. Stacked that is with a team armed with rubber-stamps reading “APPROVED”.

Here’s Crookwell STT Champion, Malcolm Barlow giving PAC chair Garry West both barrels – which he clearly deserves.

Malcolm Barlow

Malcolm Barlow.

3 December 2013
Mr Garry West,
Chair PAC Collector Wind Farm Panel,

Dear Garry,

First, let me stress that this is a personal response to you as Chair of the above Panel- it is Malcolm to Garry, person to person, my raw and heartfelt response to a completely wrong and inadequately justified decision of yours. You, as Chair, must bear the brunt of the anger and dismay at what you have foisted on yet another small rural community.

Second, my anger and dismay stem not only from the decision, but more from the arguments you used to justify it – all of which went against the raft of more recent and detailed and factual material that was presented to you, and which convincingly countered the two or three “old hat” authorities that you relied upon.

Take the Health Impacts Issue for example.  Lamely you relied heavily upon Wayne Smith from the NSW Health who, in turn, relied heavily upon the well-demolished but aptly named “Rapid Review”, 2010, by the NH&MRC (see Commonwealth Senate Inquiry into Wind Farms 2011).

You know, or should know, that this review was selective and limited, and was prepared by two academics with known pro-wind energy views, covered only 29 reports (including three by the two authors), excluded works by respected researchers that did strongly suggest a link between various wind turbine sound emanations and health of some near-neighbours, and was convincingly discredited by Senators and highly qualified critics at the Inquiry.

Why did you not take into account scores of research articles by highly qualified medicos and acousticians such as Salt, Nissenbaum, Philips, Styles, McMurtry, Hanning, Thorne, Shepherd, James, Dickinson, Phipps, etc., etc., all of which indicate in varying degrees that sound emanations from turbines are linked to health problems that many neighbours suffer once turbines are built near them.

Take the issue of Land Value Impacts. Equally lamely, on this important matter you rely heavily upon the 2009 study by the NSW Valuer-General (actually done by a commissioned contractor) which found that “…..wind farms…did not appear to negatively impact on property values in most cases.”

This report had the same flaw as the US Berkeley study (which I explained to you on the 29th) of “swamping” in-close and impacted property sales and non-sales by the unaffected and distant property sales in the outer part of the 10 kilometre radius so as to produce a near-nil impact result.

You chose to dismiss the local Reardon Report, which was easy to do because of its very limited data base.  However, you failed to attack or dismiss the several substantial appraisal studies that I presented (Garner, Lansink, Sunak, Luxemburger, McCann), instead you just ignored them. Not only that, you ignored the legislated recognition of value impact in Denmark, and you ignored the four real-life cases from Crookwell that I tabled.

In other words, you were very selective and biased in the evidence you chose to justify your decision.

Third, if the purpose of your community meeting was to learn how the local community felt about the project, and hear arguments for and against it, then your approval decision reinforces the view of many of us that all you were really doing was conducting a box-ticking façade before ultimately approving the government’s pro-wind program.

Probably, you will now get all indignant and accuse me of questioning your integrity and professionalism and so on.  My simple answer to such a reaction is that I can only judge you on the decisions you make and the justifications you give, as against the evidence and material that were presented to you. On this score, you and your panel members fail miserably.

Finally, and to sum up:

  1. You have used out-dated and well-criticised reports to support your pro-government decision.
  2. You have selectively ignored a wealth of contradictory material presented to you in both oral and documentary form.
  3. Your account of the public meeting hardly reflects the overwhelming views against the project that were presented (5 speakers for – 3 from one host family, 1 from the Clean Energy Council; as opposed to 32 against).

Hopefully, this forthright and blunt response from a reasonable and well-informed person might help you understand why rural folk are increasingly losing faith in the PAC, and see it as nothing more than another government body set up to protect the Minister and government from the political backlash that his/its pro-wind energy program produces.

Yours faithfully
Malcolm Barlow.

STT says: “hats off, Malcolm”.

A little while back Victorian John “Marshall” Madigan spelled out just how rotten the planning “system” in Victoria has become (see this post) – proving that Australians are now victims of “institutional corruption” (see this story).

The wind industry has infiltrated every level of government and has effective “ownership” of those we pay (handsomely) to protect and, purportedly, to serve the PUBLIC. Only the Mafia could have done it any better.

After the Marshall’s cracking speech STT formed the view that – given the raft of information publicly available today – any public official (elected or employed) who comes out spruiking in favour of wind power now, simply falls into one or other of the following categories: “ignorant” or “corrupt”.

In fairness to Garry, we’re content to think that he’s merely “ignorant”.

Well leave the question of whether there’s actual corruption among the PAC’s members to ICAC – it’s pretty adept at rooting it out, so if they are, ICAC will be able find it – just ask Eddie Obeid:

edie obeid

Eddie Obeid. NSW’s “Grand Master” of helping himself and his mates.
Off for a well-earned date with ICAC.

About stopthesethings

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


  1. The SA, VIC and NSW Goverments leave a lot to be desired the way they are allowing all these wind companies to get their way putting up these fans that do nothing to improve our nation’s wealth, they only drag it down economically and environmentally.

    I thought Goverments were put there by the people for the people. Apparently this is not always the case when you have got wind weasels and greentards out to grab as much of the taxpayer dollars as possible from the people of this nation.

  2. To see the wind industry imploding because of their greed, dishonesty, and overall agenda of corruption, is a very satisfying sight. It has been a long time coming, and they completely deserve to be exposed for the fraudsters that they are.

  3. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    The ‘ignorance’ and or ‘corruption’ goes beyond all boundaries.

    Once ICAC has finished with it and those who are caught up in it’s trail of deceit and corruption the sooner the better. This industry has infiltrated every level of authority but they can only achieve this if there are those willing to be corrupted.

    If there are those who have been unwillingly caught in its web, or if they have now ‘seen the light’, they should come forward and speak out, contact ICAC with any evidence they have and redeem themselves.

    Any corruption of those in authority is dangerous for our society, but for it to go this deep, infesting all levels, is something that, as a society and nation, we should pull no punches to have it stopped, and have those who were corrupted, as well as those who brought on the corruption, brought to justice.

    We know there are those who are working to stop this disgusting infiltration of our social structure. If this is not stopped, how long will it take for our nation to become one of those where corruption rules our Governments? A place where democracy is only a word rather than a way of life? A place where life becomes a daily fight to stay above the squalid streets of corruption and poverty?

    With those in authority who are speaking out now, I hope they soon find they are able to gather together many others from all sides of politics to fight, to support ICAC and to help to bring an end to this insidious infestation.

  4. It seems like they are all the same. We are waiting on a decision from the DAC here in South Australia, on the Ceres Wind Turbine Project. They approved the Keyneton wind farm, despite a lot of opposition. If they approve the Ceres Project, questions will need to be asked because the Developers have not met the criteria needed to have Crown Development Status, that was given to this project. If this project is approved, once again it will show that the whole system is corrupt, when wind companies can come into an area and totally ignore the wishes of the people.

    We can only hope the DAC does not make a decision before the election in March, because we know Rau will approve the Ceres Project, to make his corrupt, cash strapped Government look good.


  5. Grant Winberg says:

    No comment is required save to say Malcolm Barlow has eloquently summarised the box ticking procedure that PAC community meetings amount to and has generously attributed Garry West’s sickening decision making process to ignorance. Let’s hope that one day the Federal Govt will stop driving State Govts to use RECS as a means of showing the voting public how well they are generating infrastructure spending. Spend the money on health, education, communications, transport and disability services.

  6. Who is next? says:

    Mt Emerald Wind Farm’s turn is next.

  7. Superannuation companies will fold like a deck of cards when it is revealed that the Wind Industry has done an ENRON in Australia.


  1. […] Development applications have been handled by the so-called “independent” Planning Assessment Commission appointed by the State Liberal government. Recent decisions such as the PAC decision to approve Collector were little more than “rubberstamp affairs” – and the majority who bitterly opposed it had no right to appeal (see our post here). […]

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