Pacific Hydro – run by Union Heavy, Garry Weaven and funded by Union Super money handled by Members Equity Bank, controlled by his best mate Greg Combet – operates a non-compliant wind farm at Cape Bridgewater in Victoria – and has done since 2008.
The Victorian government is well aware that Pac Hydro does not and can not comply with the noise conditions of its planning consent, but does nothing to challenge it. This malign acquiescence means that Pac Hydro has been able to (unlawfully) pocket millions of RECs (at times worth up to $60 each) over the last 5 years when it should have never been accredited by the Clean Energy Regulator to receive RECs at all. But that’s just the financial aspect of a far greater crime.
By aiding and abetting Pac Hydro to breach the noise conditions of its planning consent (the ones meant to protect neighbours from excessive noise) the Victorian government is also guilty of causing untold and unnecessary human suffering.
If you were to breach the conditions of a planning permit – by say, adding an extra metre or two to a boundary wall – the Vic Planning Department would have you tear it down in a jiffy. But, when it comes to enforcing the rules that are supposed to govern the operation of wind farms, these boys run strangely silent.
STT thinks the answer lays in the cracking speech delivered by Victorian Senator, John “Marshall” Madigan before Christmas, which lambasted the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy and the wind industry’s “Mr Fix-it”, Andrew Tongue for their role in helping outfits like Pac Hydro ride roughshod over the rules – and a lot of ordinary, hard-working rural people.
Now meet one of Pac Hydro’s victims, Brian Kermond. Brian helped with the construction of Pac Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater operation, so it’d be hard to call him “anti-wind” (in the language employed by a former tobacco advertising guru). Almost immediately after the fans were set in motion in 2008 (almost 2 years before the Waubra Foundation started running around apparently “scaring” people into the sensations and symptoms they suffer) Brian developed severe and debilitating symptoms. He and his family lasted 6 months before they abandoned their home.
Pac Hydro’s “response” to the outrage expressed by Brian and its many other Cape Bridgewater victims was to call in crack spin doctors, “Futureye” in an effort to quell a brewing PR disaster. That effort at managing “community outrage” hasn’t been a rollicking success. Funny about that.
Here’s Brian’s story (3.32; transcript follows).
To the hub centre, 70 metres; they carry a 40 metre blade – 41 metre blade and they have an output of 2 megawatt. We’re approximately 1.5 kilometres.
The symptoms that I experienced was vertigo, nausea, the ringing in my ears and the migraine strength headaches. The vertigo was most horrific actually, I was very concerned when I lost my balance for no apparent reason. And when I say loose my balance, I was standing one minute and down on the floor the next.
The time that we lived here for approximately 6 months after the turbines actually began operation was – was nothing like I had experienced in my entire life. You just felt drained, every morning that you woke up – you felt drained and you did not want to pursue with anything. The exhaustion was just incredible – was not enthused to do anything. Just feeling drained. And not only myself, but the rest of the family.
It was only until we moved away that our symptoms subsided – didn’t go completely, they just subsided to the extent that we could actually get our lives back on track.
The company in question is Pacific Hydro. No communication what so ever in regards to our well being. And as they as they deliver all the time how they are a ‘good neighbour’ that has not come into existence whatsoever – and we’re one of the closest neighbours to them. When I say good neighbour, it is a Duty of Care and that Duty of Care has just gone out the window.
There has been a considerable amount of money that has just been lost in time.
(What would you like the people in government to do?)
To recognise the people coming forward with their complaints and actually take them seriously and not let the dollar override their situation. In the short term they really need to look at the medical side seriously and take these people seriously because it is a real problem and there’s a lot of real people that are suffering.