Time is fast running out for STT’s favourite whipping boys, Infigen. Bleeding cash (it backed up a $55 million loss in 2011/12 with an $80 million loss, last financial year) the struggling outfit – formerly known as Babcock and Brown – is scrambling to get development approvals for all of its projects so they can be flogged off ASAP. If it finds buyers it can use the cash to retire debt and fend off the receiver – who we hear is circling like a vulture. With the Coalition all lining up to scrap the RET outright, it’s a matter of when, not if.
Faced with imminent financial collapse, Infigen’s goons might be forgiven for one or two lapses of corporate responsibility. However, one of their head goons and STT favourite – Jonathan Upson has outdone even himself.
STT followers might remember Jonathan’s delusional rant about the “dark forces” setting out to ruin his vision of wall-to-wall fans for Australia. Jonathan was most upset about “anti-wind” groups peddling stories about wind turbines being run on gas. Yes, he was serious – notwithstanding that STT couldn’t find a single mention of the “straw-man-myth” Upson set out to attack (for a good roll-on-the floor belly laugh, see our post here).
But Jonathan’s paranoid little tirade was really just good clean wind weasel “fun” – he looked like an idiot and no one was harmed. Fair enough.
This time, however, it’s serious: Jonathan and his team of seasoned liars, bullies and thugs are applying inordinate, if not unlawful, pressure on 3 – formerly willing – turbine hosts, whose contracts with Infigen lapsed almost a year ago. Here’s the Central Western Daily on Jonathan Upson’s mighty fine impression of renowned PR guru, Genghis Khan.
Last chance to clear the air on Flyers Creek wind farm
Central Western Daily
4 February 2014
A PUBLIC meeting where supporters and opponents will have their final say on the $195 million wind farm proposed for Flyers Creek, 20 kilometres south of Orange, has proved so popular it’s been split over two days.
The Department of Planning recommended the Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) approve the 43-turbine project in November.
Due to the level of public interest in the proposal, the PAC called a meeting at the Blayney Shire Community Centre to start from 3pm on Tuesday, February 11.
But a PAC spokeswoman said so many people had registered to speak, the PAC would reconvene at 9am Wednesday to hear from all parties.
“The message for people now is we will be extending it on to Wednesday morning so if people have a preference they can let us know,” she said.
Interested parties wanting to speak at the meeting must register with the PAC by 1pm tomorrow.
Individuals are given five minutes and those from a registered group can speak for 15 minutes.
Members of the public can also attend as observers.
Patina Schneider, from a group opposing the wind farm, the Flyers Creek Wind Turbine Awareness Group, said several members would speak but others were reluctant to speak out publicly and would submit written submissions instead.
She is concerned animosity between the residents supporting and those opposing the wind farm could escalate to violence if the project is approved.
“For one of the main hosts, if his property caught on fire people would stand by and watch it burn,” she said.
Mrs Schneider said hosts of the turbines had accused the group of making threats when the group sent legal letters asking the landholders to reject the turbines on their properties.
“They have been warned of the consequences, it’s not a threat,” she said. “We do have the right to stand up and protect what’s ours.”
Jonathan Upson, the senior development manager with the wind farm’s developer Infigen Energy, said as the proponent of the project no one from Infigen was able to speak at the meeting, but he would observe the proceedings.
“There is a certain level of frustration because obviously other people have their say,” he said.
Although three landholders who initially agreed to host four turbines between them now wish to pull out of the project, Mr Upson said they would be unable to back out of the contract signed with Infigen.
Central Western Daily
Upson is clearly taking his public relations queues from the infamous Mongol warlord, Genghis Khan – how “frustrating” it must be to let “other people have their say”. Say, Jonathan, how about we just hack them to death, like Genghis would have? He always found it to be a mighty quick and simple way of removing any pesky opposition to his plans for world domination.
And so much for all of that “warm, fuzzy support” for giant fans – said by the Clean Energy Council and the CSIRO to be simply brimming over in the bush.
The 3 farming families in question stand to make a steady stream of cash hosting Infigen’s fans, but want out. The families involved have woken up to the lies peddled by the likes of Upson and his team (see our post here) and are very keen to avoid the acoustic torture Infigen is hoping to inflict on them and all their neighbours at Flyers Creek.
STT has seen the contracts in question and all of them lapsed in May 2013.
The contracts (landholder “licence” agreements) were signed for an original 5-year term with an option for Infigen to extend the term of the contracts, prior to expiration of the original term.
Infigen fluffed around for years and failed to get its development approval within the 5-year timeframe (it still hasn’t got approval, hence the meeting referred to above).
In the meantime, it failed to give written notice to the 3 farmers in question of its intention to exercise its option to extend the term of the leases. Accordingly, their contracts with Infigen simply lapsed – and, therefore, the landholders are no longer bound by them.
But Upson & Co aren’t they types to let the law stand in the way of a fat pile of cash. Oh no – true to form – Infigen has been threatening, bullying and harassing the – now entirely unwilling turbine hosts – who were once keen and cooperative contracting partners with Infigen.
Infigen has come up with a cracking story that it was all the New South Wales Planning Department and Government’s fault that it did not exercise its option to renew the contracts. Citing the principle of “force majeure”, Infigen is asserting that the 3 farming families remain bound by their contracts. Infigen’s mission is to keep haranguing the families in question – hoping to grind them down until they simply give up and Infigen gets its way. No surprises there.
The argument in this case, however, is a complete legal fiction.
“Force majeure” is a clause included in commercial contracts that essentially frees both parties from liability or obligation when an extraordinary event or circumstance beyond the control of the parties, such as a war, strike, riot, crime, or an event described by the legal term act of God (such as hurricane, flooding, earthquake, volcanic eruption, etc.) prevents one or both parties from fulfilling their obligations under the contract. In practice, most force majeure clauses do not excuse a party’s non-performance entirely, but only suspends it for the duration of the force majeure.
Force majeure is generally intended to include risks beyond the reasonable control of a party, incurred not as a product or result of the negligence or malfeasance of a party, which have a materially adverse effect on the ability of such party to perform its obligations, as where non-performance is caused by the usual and natural consequences of external forces.
Based on the terms of the contracts – and the circumstances here – it is specious in the extreme for Infigen to claim that its OWN FAILURE to exercise the option to renew these 3 contracts was, somehow, a matter beyond its control and the result of “external forces”.
In truth, Infigen would have been sweating-off on extending the contracts on account of the fact that it has not secured a Power Purchase Agreement for its Flyers Creek project. In the absence of a PPA, it will never get finance to build the project. So why would it extend the contracts when it was never in a position to build the project?
Now, faced with a looming financial collapse, Infigen needs to have all 3 turbine hosts included in the project so it can obtain development approval and flog the proposal – as is – and as soon as it can find a sucker.
Flyers Creek locals have all rallied in support of the 3 farming families being bullied by Infigen – who aren’t about to be intimidated by a thug like Upson.
STT hears that the upcoming PAC meeting will be packed to the gunwales with hostile locals ready to tear shreds off Infigen for its goon’s outrageous conduct – generally – and specifically – in relation to the way they’ve been threatening and intimidating the 3 families in question.
STT expects a repeat of the fiery reception that Thai turbine terrorists, RATCH received from Collector’s locals at the PAC meeting back in October (see our posts here and here and here).
One thing’s for sure – Upson & Co are in for the fight of their lives.
6 thoughts on “Jonathan Upson: Thuggery, Bullying and Harassment – just another day at the office”
I also say well done 3X hosts. Stand your ground. These fan companies are just thugs, that just tell lies to suck you in (for example, no noise, no health problems from infrasound and low frequency noise, all LIES).
Mr Upson and the hidden costs of electricity? He could start by turning off all the lights in the office behind him, you know, so there is ‘less carbon in the atmosphere’? But then, the Wind Industry was never interested in less carbon in the air. It has only been interested in screwing Governments and neighbours in the name of a technology that underachieves carbon mitigation and overstates power outputs constantly, and can only deliver on a promise of ‘money for nothing’ to satiate its greed.
Thanks STT for continuing to expose the lies and corruption of this malevolent industry and its disgraced supporters.
Unwavering determination to show these wind bastards and the media that there is ZERO community support for these disasterous scams is needed to get the message across. The Planning dept and sundry still have the Labor/greens ethos running through it as no wind application has ever been knocked back – they seem to be employed by big wind in clearly supporting all projects despite all the evidence against this environmentally damaging farce.
Wind proponents must never be given the slightest opportunity to say there is ‘broad’ community support. Give them hell- keep showing the anger -maintain the rage.
A ‘company’ called EPYC is currently ‘consulting’ with the Tarago area community-ie not giving affected landholders any information whatsoever, re positioning of 110 massive industrial turbines over 12000 hctrs of country. Along with Infigen’s 90 turbines, that will make over 200 turbines in the Bungendore/Tarago area. People are already complaining (most learned of the proposal through media -rumour) and are questioning EPYC – who respond with the referral to their general handout on wind farms. A battle is certainly looming here. I think they want to get approval-so they can flog it- before the Coalition gain control of the Senate mid year and hopefully kill this truly stupid and failed ‘wind’ experiment off for good.
Keep up the good work STT and supporters.
Maybe Infigen should not have turned up at a non-contracted landowner’s house and stated ‘the windfarm is going to be 500 meters from your house, get over it …’
It’s KARMA Infigen!!! Hope you lose millions…
Well done the 3 EX hosts, keep standing your ground, you have now heard the truth of these things and have taken a stand for yourselves and your community. Be proud and feel the support from those around you as well as those living at a distance.
It’s hard to believe the wind weasel could go so low. They have really reached the most desperate depths now. Great pressure and reporting STT.