NSW Planning Department Helps Wind Farm Developers Rig Community “Consultations”

dirtyrottenscoundrelsoriginal

What’s wrong? You didn’t believe we really
actually cared about what you thought, did you?

As community hostility to wind farm plans erupts across the Southern Tablelands of NSW, wind power outfits have taken to sacking and stacking committees to ensure the “process” of “community consultation” is little more than high farce.

Spanish outfit, Union Fenosa didn’t like the prospect of having Tony Abbott’s key business adviser, Maurice Newman challenge its wild and fictional claims, so it did what any reasonable corporate citizen would do: it booted him off the committee at Crookwell (see our post here). What’s that you say about “shaping the debate”?

Now, EPYC – an outfit planning to spear 100 turbines into the heart of picture post-card Tarago – has adopted the same tactics: stacking the consultation committee with “friendlies” and preventing the appointment of anyone with any insight into the scope of the fraud. Here’s the Goulburn Post with a tale that sounds more like something from the old Soviet Bloc.

Windfarm group demands action
Goulburn Post
Louise Thrower
4 August 2014

OPPONENTS of a proposed wind farm near Tarago are calling on the state government to ‘do its job.’ Community consultative committees (CCCs) are mandatory under guidelines but are nothing more than a ‘fig leaf,’ says a residents’ group.

The Residents Against Jupiter Wind Farm (RAJWF) has not ruled out political action to press their point.

Last month the group met with a senior advisor to Planning Minister and Goulburn MP Pru Goward and a departmental official in Sydney.

Member and Tarago district resident Dr Michael Crawford said the government had the power to appoint CCCs but was abrogating its responsibility and letting wind farm companies decide the make-up.

“It’s not an even handed process but they want it to look as though it is by putting it in the guidelines,” Dr Crawford said.

“The Department is not doing its job to appoint community representatives and the independent chairperson and it doesn’t pull anyone up on it. We tried to get some real change.”

Instead, Dr Crawford said the Department gave him the “soft shoe shuffle.”

His comments follow Union Fenosa’s sacking of Maurice Newman from the Crookwell Three wind farm CCC. The move sparked outrage from NSW Landscape Guardians president Humphrey Price-Jones who called on Ms Goward and the Department to intervene.

Under existing draft guidelines, the director general signs off on CCC membership. But even Union Fenosa conceded that given the draft document, the state was leaving membership up to wind farm companies.

Tarago residents at least argue this is unacceptable.

“Nowhere in the guidelines is there any latitude for the wind farm developer to have a say about choosing community reps,” resident Jane Keaney stated in a letter to the editor.

“In fact, even without the guidelines, anyone with the faintest sense of fair play would recognise that allowing a developer of any sort to select the people who are going to be allowed to talk to the developer on behalf of the community, is anathema. How has the department come to tolerate this corruption of process?” The group has already asked Palerang and Goulburn Mulwaree Councils to help with election of its CCC.

In June, EPYC, which wants to build the 100 turbine wind farm southeast of Tarago, called for community representation.

In response, the group nominated seven people including Mr Crawford, who it wanted on the committee, with a further eight as alternative delegates. The Reverend Tom Frame supervised the election.

Dr Crawford said to date there has been no response from the company or the Department of Planning.

At the most recent Goulburn Mulwaree meeting, planning director Chris Stewart was appointed as Council’s representative.

While companies like Union Fenosa have defended their ability to appoint a wide cross section of views to the committees, others like Mr Price-Jones have branded them “wind farm propaganda” machines.

Dr Crawford said while all the Tarago nominees oppose the wind farm, he would welcome a variety of voices on the committee.

But he’s adamant that the state government needs to regain control.

“The government wants to paper the State with wind farms but the process is nothing more than a fig leaf,” he said.

“… At the meeting in Sydney I said they have to understand our timetable. There’s an election next year and if our members feel political action is required, we won’t sit on our hands.

It’s about government policy and the way to deal with it is through the political process.”

Ms Goward told the Post she had asked her department for a report on CCCs.

“We made it clear that we expect wind farm companies to genuinely consult with communities and the history is that they haven’t,” she said.

“We need to be sure CCCs are genuine, that they genuinely represent the community and can give unfettered advice.”

The company had not responded to requests for comment by the time of going to press.
Goulburn Post

STT is pleased to hear that Pru Goward has taken an interest in what can fairly be described as government gone rotten. The NSW Planning Department – like state planning departments around Australia – is infected with a pernicious brand of groupthink driven by the childish fantasy that wind power is a solution to “climate change” (previously known as “global warming” – until it became evident that it stopped getting warmer 17 years ago – see our post here).

Wedded to a delusion, woe betide anyone – like Maurice Newman or Dr Michael Crawford – who has the temerity to question their mantra. Hence the need to load these so-called “community consultation committees” with gullible “yes-men”.

Wind power – delivered at crazy, random intervals – requires 100% of its capacity to be backed up 100% of the time by fossil fuel generation sources and, therefore, cannot and will never reduce CO2 emissions in the electricity sector (see our posts here and here and here and here and here and here and here).

Wind power is not a substitute for conventional generation sources and – if CO2 is the problem – presents as a solution to nothing (see our post here).

Remember that the ONLY justification for the $billions in subsidies directed at wind power (see our post here) is CO2 emissions abatement in the electricity sector. It’s the central and endlessly repeated lie that wind power outfits routinely trot out in their planning applications. You know, the guff about “powering 100,000 homes” and abating millions of tonnes of CO2 (see our post here).

Well, STT hears that the industry is about to be put to proof on its CO2 abatement claims.

The wind industry has never produced a shred of evidence to show that wind power has reduced CO2 emissions in Australia’s electricity sector. To the contrary of wind industry claims, the result of trying to incorporate wind power into a coal/gas fired grid is increased CO2 emissions (see this European paper here; this Irish paper here; this English paper here; and this Dutch study here).

Strip away that myth and the mandatory RET – upon which the entire wind industry depends – can be seen for what it is: the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time.

pru-goward

Pru Goward: ready to test wind industry CO2 abatement claims.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Terry Conn says:

    Jim’s comment is absolutely correct. This current NSW government is running scared of the hard left and doesn’t have the confidence or the guts to put a stop to something that is so pernicious it will ‘stall’ the state for decades i.e. approving and promoting wind farms. To think we have a prodigy of John Howard’s (Pru Goward) being soft on wind farms says it all!! Why is she leaving the hard yards to Federal member Angus Taylor while she has actual power right now to stop this ridiculous fantasy in its tracks? Love to hear from you Minister! If you can explain yourself let’s hear it.

  2. jim Hutson says:

    Pru Goward. The Minister would have us believe she expects the wind turbine companies to genuinely consult with communities!
    Firstly, the word genuine is a word the wind turbine companies have no knowledge of.
    Secondly, when it comes to wind turbines, the Minister is trying to run with the fox and hunt with the hounds.
    The Minister’s arrogant and dismissive reply to my correspondence to her re- Aviation safety hazard brought about by the installation of Industrial wind turbines in the circuit area of the Crookwell aerodrome against expert aviation advice, leaves me with no doubt that the Minister is fully in favour of wind turbines. Until such times that she makes a positive public statement about reviewing the situation at Crookwell, stopping other developments full stop, or seeking to help wind turbine victims who have been screwed over by Government and wind turbine companies I will continue to hold that view.
    So, step up to the plate Minister, elections are just around the corner and wind turbine companies don’t vote. Wind turbine victims and potential wind turbine victims do.

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