Pac Hydro promises but fails to fix its screeching fans at Cape Bridgewater

Cape Bridgewater screech

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.

As if tolerating an endless barrage of turbine generated low-frequency noise and infra-sound wasn’t bad enough, long-suffering neighbours have had to put up with an excruciating “screech” emitted by Pac Hydro’s giant fans. The “screech” has been a periodic feature of daily life at Cape Bridgewater since 2011.

Pac Hydro has made a series of hollow promises to their victims about fixing the “screech” – which have, quite evidently, come to nothing.

Cop an ear-full of this 3 minute video – recorded over the last 3 years at a home 600 metres from the nearest turbine – capturing the “gently soothing tones” (the industry’s pet acoustic consultants liken it to waves lapping on a moonlit beach) produced by Pac Hydro’s giant fans – and featuring the pure “melody” of the “screech”:

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What a tremendous consolation it must be for Pac Hydro’ numerous Cape Bridgewater victims to know that it’s “sorry” about the “screech”.

With hollow promises and disingenuous apologies it’s little wonder the locals are experiencing what is euphemistically called “community outrage”.

A while back, Pac Hydro sent in the shadowy outfit “Futureye” in an effort to quell local disquiet – using its own special brand of “outrage management” (see our post here). But it seems its efforts have simply backfired – the victims are, quite rightly, angrier than ever.

No one should have to put up with treatment like this. Those that created it – and those who seek to excuse it – should hang their heads in shame.

Ashamed head-in-hands

You got me – it’s all my fault and there are no excuses.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. I have to say as a 5th Generation Cape Bridgewater grazier I have never heard the mind altering drone which I have had to put up with for the past 6-8 weeks. The drone, pulsing hum sounds like a diesel tractor working out in the paddock but never coming or going, a truck coming up the Bridgewater Road but never arriving, a plane flying high above the clouds but never going anywhere. I have lived in the same location at Cape Bridgewater for 20 years, I can walk out the front of our home and hear the sea, I know what the roar of the sea sounds like! From the rear of our home and inside our home is where the above described noise is heard, it is more intense inside and definitely of a night when trying to sleep which is mind-bending! There are times where I am unable to sleep and I have to take something to knock me out so I can actually work the next day. My husband suffers from Tinnitus and is unable to hear any hum. Perhaps I am just sensitive to this low frequency noise but I have never been affected before; is it related to the wind farm? I really don’t know, the wind farm has been operational for many years now and I have never had this problem in the past. When I go to Portland or travel away I don’t hear the noise.

    • melissa ware says:

      Dear Bernie,
      Sorry to hear you are being disturbed by noise from the Cape Bridgewater Wind F. The Waubra Foundation Website is also a fantastic site to learn more about impacts from wind energy power stations on people, including recently added information about the Cape B. wind facility.
      You may register a complaint about the noise to the Council, the DTPLI and Pacific Hydro if you have not already done so.
      All of us will be nodding our heads in confirmation at the increasing sensitivity to the noise that you are experiencing and Steven Coopers’, (an expert acoustician), current investigations of noises emitted by the wind farm are confirming amongst other things, a noise signature specific from wind and ocean and background noises.
      The Pacific Hydro Community Consultation Meeting is held at the SLSC and the company advertises in the newspaper it is for learning more about the wind farm and provides an opportunity to meet the representative and talk about problems, or just to listen. The meeting minutes are written by Pacific Hydro and posted up on their website and may be of interest to the wider community.
      It is confronting and challenging for an individual to speak out about the noise experienced and it’s not always easy for personal reasons to complain or attend a public meeting.
      It really helps to talk to someone experiencing the same (weird) things if you can and to learn more about what we think and now know what is occurring.

  2. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    A little while ago on a trip over the border we took the road I loved to take to visit an amazing view of the ocean beyond fields below, with a small lake before some sand hills and the ocean beyond stretching, it seemed, for ever. You came to this after going round a bend in the road. It was a favourite side trip which over many years I ensured telling people about. What a shock when I came across a view of Industrialisation, installation of industrial Wind Turbines, spoiling a spectacular view – now a vision of disharmony with the environment.
    We continued on in dismay, making a visit to the ‘petrified forest’, another wonder of nature I recommended to visitors. Yet again we were appalled to see that even this place has now taken on the features of an industrial estate, having to pass close by these industrial steel monsters to reach the ‘forest’.
    We stopped on the side of the road and got out to view these very close steel intruders. There were workers there discussing them, and checking us out.
    We heard clearly what they must have been discussing, a noise of grinding and squealing. We got back in the car and went to the cliffs to view the ‘forest’. A beautiful place slowly being eroded by the actions of nature, but there was an intrusion into the sound of the ocean gently washing into the cliffs – the grinding and squealing could be heard there also.
    We didn’t stay long because the atmosphere of this wondrous place was spoilt by the turbines noise and being able to see them just behind the natural landscape.
    We stopped again on the way back, the workers had gone, but the noise was just as intense, we left because we did not want to be so close if the blades flew off or the tower exploded, which the noise being emitted seemed to indicate might happen.
    Driving back we stopped a couple of times to listen and the noise was all around us.
    We now know this is not an unusual sound in this area, it’s normal or should I say an abnormal sound intrusion into the quiet rural landscape of Cape Bridgewater, it’s a noise which if you cannot turn off will create a dangerous environment for humans and animals to exist in.
    It’s an intrusion that wouldn’t be tolerated by people living near any other type of industrial estate, it’s an intrusion which authorities would not tolerate under OH&S guidelines, but one which it seems Governments and OH&S officers are willing to ignore. The question is WHY? Why do they accept it in this environment?
    I think it’s becoming clear with revelations of connections between people in the industry and elsewhere, and it’s also clear these connections need to be investigated, and the wrong righted letting those living with this intrusion regain their lives and for the environment to recover.
    Any statement that the noise these things make is similar to waves hitting the shore is rubbish. I used to live by a long sandy beach with waves rolling in softly as well as in storms. I now live on the coast where there are reefs, which cause waves to alter their movement, both in light and rough weather, reaching the coastline 120mts from my home, and I can tell you the noise those industrial steel turbines made is NOTHING like the sound of a natural phenomenon of the waves coming ashore.

  3. David Mortimer says:

    Now would be a good time to get on the gravy train and find a really desirable use for these otherwise useless towers. Could make a killing.

    On the subject of turbine noise, you’d think that with all the grief we are inflicting on the wind industry the weasels would have come up with a bevvy of reputable acoustics engineers and proven for once and for all that there is no ILFN generated by their humungously, enormous, gigantic fans. They have been very conspicuous by their absence. I think it speaks volumes.

    With all the evidence against them, if they haven’t done the ILFN testing of residences both inside and outside, then that is irresponsible, If on the other hand they have done the testing and have hidden what we already know, then that is just plain criminal. Perhaps they should start fitting security grilles to their offices just so that they can get used to the iron bars. They might have to sleep with them for some time. How many years for fraud?

  4. Every fan should be dropped and melted down for building material for useful things, NOT USELESS FANS. The corrupt fan goons should be thrown into the dungeons for good, for the stress that the citizens that have had to put up with, living around these noisy fans.

  5. There is only one way for Pacific Hydro to fix the problem with their wind turbines: snap the blades off and stuff them up the rear end of those “qualified” professionals who think that the phenomenon of nocebo explains everything…

Trackbacks

  1. […] For a little taste of the “reality” of the life brought to Cape Bridgewater by Pac Hydro, cop an earful of the soundtrack to this video (and see our post here). […]

  2. […] The “screech” heard in the video is a “special” feature that was added in 2011 to the “Psychopath’s Symphony” that Pac Hydro has faithfully rendered, whenever the wind is blowing, since 2008 (see our post here). […]

  3. […] in this post – Cape Bridgewater locals have not only had to tolerate an endless barrage of turbine […]

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