Today Tonight Reports on Senate Inquiry Into the Great Wind Power Fraud

senate review

The Senate Inquiry into the Great Wind Power Fraud hits the road.

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The Australian Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud kicked off on 30 March.

And, fitting it was, that this band of merry men – Queensland National Senator, Matthew Canavan, WA Liberal, Chris Back, independents Nick Xenophon and John Madigan, Liberal Democrat, David Leyonhjelm, Family First Senator, Bob Day (and one, not-so-happy, Labor women, and wind power fraud apologist), Tasmanian ALP Senator, Anne Urquhart – set to work taking the lid off the wind industry’s “stinky pot”, at Portland, Victoria: the town next door to Pacific Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater disaster.

The hall was packed with people from threatened communities from all over Victoria and South Australia; and long-suffering wind farm neighbours from there – and from elsewhere – keen to hear Steven Cooper’s exposition on the findings of his groundbreaking study (see our posts here and here and here).

The hearing was the first opportunity for wind farm victims to lay out, in tragic detail, their misery and suffering before the Inquiry; and, despite efforts by Pac Hydro to derail the Inquiry by loading it with patsies and ‘friendlies’, the victims’ stories were heard, loud and clear.

Channel Seven’s Today Tonight put together a truly notable piece of journalism, in a report compiled by Rodney Lohse: a report that not only covered the Inquiry, but also Pacific Hydro’s scurrilous efforts to bury the evidence of its legal liability to its Cape Bridgewater victims; and the horrendous impact of its wind farm disaster on those long-suffering people. It’s the kind of report you’ll never see on your ABC (see our posts here and here).

Rodney has excelled. Getting to the bottom of the great wind power fraud is no mean feat.

Anyone attempting to do so is up against a well-drilled, propaganda and PR machine.

The Clean Energy Council (the PR arm of Infigen, aka Babcock and Brown – it’s now conveniently headed up by Infigen’s Miles George) is just the local spearhead of an International system designed to perpetuate the lies and myths needed to keep the greatest Ponzi scheme in history alive (see our post here). Not able to go it alone, at Cape Bridgewater, Pac Hydro tried (without success) to use a shadowy PR outfit called “Futureye” to suppress local outrage (see our post here).

These Orwellian spruikers and media manipulators are backed by millions of dollars of money from wind power outfits; union super funds; and struggling giant fan makers, like Denmark’s Vestas. All of them are hell-bent on preventing anyone from getting any where near the true facts, especially in relation to incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound:

Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge

Notwithstanding the wind industry’s superior skills in the art of deception and subterfuge, Rodney Lohse has managed to not only smash into a few of the more critical wind industry lies, he’s helped to turn up the heat on people like Pac Hydro’s Andrew Richards (easy to spot as “Mr Uncomfortable” in Rodney’s report).

mr uncorfortable andrew richards

Pac Hydro’s Andrew Richards: “Mr Uncomfortable” …

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In Rodney’s report, the focus is clearly on the groundbreaking work of Steven Cooper; and Pac Hydro’s skullduggery aimed at covering it up. In coming posts we’ll pop up the Hansard (transcript) of that part of the Inquiry, as well as that covering other witnesses appearing before the Inquiry at Portland. Now, here’s Rodney’s ripping little report.

Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm
Rodney Lohse
Channel 7’s Today Tonight
8 April 2015

[Click on the image above for the Today Tonight video. Transcript appears below.]

Transcript

Rodney Lohse (Today Tonight): But first the debate over wind farms and their potential for harm is heating up, with the Federal Senate launching an inquiry. Already, South Australia’s approval guidelines for turbines have been brought into question. And the Senate committee hasn’t even arrived here yet.

Senator David Leyonhjelm: I’m minded of the tobacco company’s 50 years ago testifying to a committee somewhat similar like ours saying cigarettes do not cause lung cancer.

Senator Matt Canavan: Each turbine gets around $300,000 a year from the Federal government. That’s a lot of money. And I’m concerned that this could be Pink Batts in the air, if you like.

Rodney Lohse: This is Cape Bridgewater. It’s a place most Australians haven’t heard of. Six hours east of Adelaide, 4½ hours west of Melbourne, in south-west Victoria.

map

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But it is fast becoming a talking point around the world. Not because of its beauty and seclusion, but because of these.

Cape Bridgewater, as far as wind farms go, is not unlike hundreds of others around the world. But it has become the epicentre of the world debate around the safety of wind farms to human health.

It’s Sunday night, and in this secluded farmhouse a very important meeting is taking place.

Rikki Nicholson (of Cape Bridgewater): They behave like a giant tuning fork, every time the blade goes past and it vibrates down through the concrete, I’m imagining through the bedrock and then…

Rodney Lohse:  It mightn’t look like it, but the future of the wind energy industry in Australia, and possibly the world, could be in the hands of these people.

These are just 4 of the Federal Senators looking into possible harm these turbines may cause to people living close by.

At the centre of the debate is this man, Mr Steven Cooper, and the residents in these 3 homes which border the Cape Bridgewater wind farm.

Melissa Ware (of Cape Bridgewater): It’s noisy, it’s terrible, you can’t sleep.

Sonia Trist (of Cape Bridgewater): At the moment it feels as if it’s a losing battle – because of the way that we’ve been treated subsequent to the test.

Rodney Lohse: The test is what has sparked the controversy. Last year, for 10 weeks, sound engineer Stephen Cooper, looked for a link between the Cape Bridgewater wind farm and sensations residents in 3 of the nearest homes, were saying made them feel sick – and he found one.

Steven Cooper:  And that’s actually the critical aspect that people right around the world – and there is an acknowledgement that this study, by having the cooperation of the wind farm and the residents, and to do the on-of testing, is a matter that’s never been done before in the world.

Steven Cooper giving evidence to the Senate Committee on wind farms

Steven Cooper lays out the true facts to a set of ‘switched-on’ Senators.

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Rodney Lohse: What this study did was identify infrasound, sound that is below a level that can be heard, but can be felt, was being emitted from the Cape Bridgewater wind farm and detected by nearby residents.

Steven Cooper: Noise didn’t fit into what was occurring, because they weren’t hearing it, they were perceiving, so we added in vibration as a separate distinction because residents were reporting vibration that they could feel through the floor or experiencing …

Rodney Lohse: Mr Cooper calls it a wind turbine signature and now it’s been identified, it means further studies can be conducted to see if there is a causal link between turbines and health impacts.

Steven Cooper:  The fundamental problem that you have in looking at the issue of wind farms, is that there hasn’t been health studies. So the health studies are not there, to show either an impact or no impact.

Rodney Lohse: It’s turned Stephen Cooper and his work into a political football, with many trying to tear him down. Allegations put to the Senate review committee, suggest Pacific Hydro, which owns the Cape Bridgewater wind farm, and funded the study, was now trying to gag Mr Cooper.

Senator Matt Canavan: I mean I find it extraordinary that you can’t use your own charts, I mean, can I just clarify, so if you’re doing a PowerPoint presentation overseas, you can’t copy and paste a chart out of your report and put it on a slide?

Steven Cooper:  If it’s in this published document, I’ve been advised that I can’t.

Rodney Lohse: Andrew Richards, is from Pacific Hydro.

[to Andrew Richards] Senator Canavan raised the issue that, you’ve gagged other people, is this common practice for Pacific Hydro?

Andrew Richards (Pacific Hydro):   No, we haven’t gagged anyone, um what we have in contracts is the protection of intellectual property and and rights of people.

Rodney Lohse: The restrictions on Steven Cooper, however, are all just a misunderstanding.

[to Steven Cooper] Did they make that clear in the last fortnight that you could not reproduce parts of that report?

Steven Cooper:  Yes. Although it has changed today.

Rodney Lohse: But Mr Cooper’s issues don’t end there. They’ve decided to review his review.

Senator Matt Canavan: Have you engaged an acoustic expert at this stage?

Andrew Richards: Yes, we have.

Senator Matt Canavan: Ok. Who is that?

Andrew Richards:  Um, I’m not at liberty to say. But there there is a, a report that’s been produced, um it’s it’s being um, provided to us in the coming days and that we’ll make that publicly available.

Senator Matt Canavan: OK. And is that measuring infrasound as well as dB(A)?

Andrew Richards: It’s more of a, it’s more of an assessment of the data that’s been collected, um in the way that Mr Cooper has has got peer review.

Senator Matt Canavan: So it’s a hatchet job, basically.

Andrew Richards: No.

Rodney Lohse: But Pacific Hydro may have a hard time convincing many of the members of the committee, like Senator Matt Canavan.

Senator Matt Canavan: Doesn’t that go to the core of the issue though Mr Richards, that there is a new technique now and some new information, so I’m interested to know what are you doing as a company, who operate wind turbines as a result of this new information? What further studies or investigations will you? …

Andrew Richards: WellI wouldn’t, I wouldn’t …

Rodney Lohse: And Senator Chris Back.

Andrew Richards: As a company all we can do is look at the peak of medical associations and organisations and none of them are saying that this is a, this is an issue. Um, we do look to the NHMRC who are have, are about to conduct some work in this area, and we’re quite supportive of that to try and deal with this issue once and for all.

Chris Back: Can I just interrupt? The President of the Australian Medical Association disassociated himself from that statement, didn’t he?

Andrew Richards: I’m not sure.

Senator Chris Back: He did.

Rodney Lohse: And Senator [David] Leyonhjelm.

Senator David Leyonhjelm:  If I was in your shoes, I would be concerned that in due course there would be a tort liability emerge out of this.

Rodney Lohse: Especially since a study at a United States wind farm at Shirley [Wisconsin], found infrasound was harming nearby residents. As acknowledged by Senator John Madigan.

Senator John Madigan: So, as I understand it, at the Shirley wind farm, a lesser level that was recorded there was considered a public health risk, is that right?

Steven Cooper: That’s what the report says, yes.

Senator John Madigan: Thank you Mr Cooper.

Rodney Lohse: But Senator Anne Urquhart is not convinced. A former union leader, many of her former members are shareholders, via their super funds, in Pacific Hydro.

Senator Anne Urquhart: Is it right that you have a history of appearing in court cases for wind opponents, and casting aspersions on the academic research which shows that there’s no evidence of health impacts of wind turbines?

Senator David Leyonhjelm: What are you thinking of achieving with that sort of question?

Rodney Lohse: But it’s not just wind farms Steven Cooper’s research makes vulnerable. With the Senate enquiry next set to visit South Australia, the EPA here can expect some tough questions.

Senator Nick Xenophon: Are you saying that the South Australian EPA guidelines are fundamentally flawed in considering these types of applications?

Steven Cooper: Yes, I’ve detailed that in my submission.

Rodney Lohse: Under EPA guidelines here, wind farms that operate correctly shouldn’t even produce infrasound. But other studies show, that’s impossible.

Steven Cooper: I’ve measured infrasound from the Waterloo wind farm at 8 km. Adelaide University, during a shut down at Waterloo, measured the Hallett farm, which was something in the order of 30 km away.

Rodney Lohse: What next? Well residents at Cape Bridgewater, like Sonia Trist, who lives just 620 metres from a turbine believes it’s time for a health study.

Sonia Trist (of Cape Bridgewater): I personally want to be able to live in my home. That’s what I want. That’s my top of my hit list.

Joanne Kermond (of Cape Bridgewater): It’s like a pressure, it’s like a big cloud or (sighs) heaviness is over us. And it just gets stronger and stronger, it’s like my head’s in a vice.

Rodney Lohse: Brian and Joanne Kermond, whose family have lived at Cape Bridgewater for generations, are desperate for answers. Brian’s adamant the turbines have done something to him.

Brian Kermond (of Cape Bridgewater): The evidence that Mr Steve Cooper’s study has provided relieves my wife and I that we are sane, and our claims are legitimate. We knew that there was a problem right from the start when our family was declining in health.

Rodney Lohse: And while this is not the first Senate enquiry into wind farms they’re hopeful this one will finally ask the right questions and get some reliable answers.

Melissa Ware (of Cape Bridgewater): Well, my hope is that they’ll leave here understanding more about what we’re been exposed to.

Rodney Lohse: What have other wind farms around the world, said to you about allowing him to do this, have they said to you, what the hell were you thinking?

Andrew Richards: Well, some have. Some have congratulated us. Um, I think we feel as though we have nothing to hide with this, and in fact, we believe that everyone will benefit from additional work in this area. Because we can’t continue to go on as an industry, or as a company, with with people making these sorts of accusations.

Today Tonight

A sterling, but vain effort there from Pac Hydro’s Andrew Richards.

The lid came off the wind industry’s “stinky pot” at Portland; and no matter how hard the wind industry tries from hereon, it will never be able to put it back.

As has been observed, sunlight is the best of disinfectants – with a solid team of clever and well-briefed Senators, this Inquiry has, in that respect, turned night into day; such that the wind industry will never again be able to seek comfort behind its well-polished lies and spin.

The wind industry is a bit like the Boy Who Cried Wolf. The moral of that tale is not to never lie; it’s that if you are going to lie, never tell the same lie twice. The wind industry is built on lies and repeats them ad nauseum (for just one example, see our post here).

A number of the Senators on the Inquiry, have had but their first taste of how wind power outfits, like Pac Hydro, trade in subterfuge, myth and fiction. As the Inquiry rolls on, and more of the same comes to light, things can only get worse for the wind industry and its parasites.

And real journos, like Rodney Lohse, can only help bring a speedy end to the greatest economic and environmental fraud of all time. Nice work, Rodney, keep at it – there’s a Walkley Award in this.

participants

Melissa Ware; Brian and Joanne Kermond and Sonia Trist – 4 of the 6 participants in Steven Cooper’s groundbreaking study.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Sydney Lawrence says:

    The penny is starting to drop. As Richo says “The mob will work you out”.

  2. Keith. staff says:

    The Portland / Cape Bridgewater hearing was just the beginning. Expect more exposure over the coming weeks.

    The recent STT posting stating that the “blowtorch is being applied”, to the corrupt wind industry was spot on.

    https://stopthesethings.com/2014/11/19/australian-senate-to-turn-up-the-blowtorch-on-the-great-wind-power-fraud/

  3. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    After watching this episode of Today Tonight when it was screened, I realised it was a very important marker in the fight for truth; an important marker where at least one of our national media outlets steps up to the mark and tells it as it is. A marker which should not be ignored by the rest of our media.

    Only when they accept the truth and begin to report it will they be able to gain respect from their audience. Some of course may never regain that respect because of their very evident bias and inability to accept when they are wrong, others though have the opportunity to do the right thing now and follow Channel 7’s lead.

    The Portland meeting was the first step in a Senate parliamentary instigated process which will expose the industry and its supporters for what they are, and will expose the persistent lies about this industry being safe when they have know of the dangers for decades.

    That people can speak the truth to this committee, without fear of being taken to court by the deep pocketed companies, provides the opportunity for the truth to be placed before the committee and the general public.

    If anyone then tries to denigrate those who speak out they will be seen for what they are – scared, frightened little people who are trying to be important and influential, but failing because they ‘backed’ the wrong side.

  4. STT, this statement should be corrected to all and be known to the Senators Committee that it is the Shirley Wind Facility in Wisconsin, not Oregon.. I don’t recall when watching the Senators if it was correctly stated that it was Wisconsin, USA.(unless I missed a report out of Oregon?)

    [Especially since a study at a United States wind farm at Shirley, in Oregon, found infrasound was harming nearby residents. As acknowledged by Senator John Madigan]

  5. What I really think is that Richards is just a grub, for the way he is treating the people of Cape Bridgewater. Let alone the way the people are treated by AGL at Macarthur. Just imagine what would happen if you treated your neighbour like that in an urban area. You would probably be sent to jail.

  6. Martin Hayles, Curramulka says:

    A wonderful report by a rotten capitalist commercial concern.

    Where was “our” ABC?

    Surely, such an august institution would have shown interest in an inquiry into such an important issue, with regard to the economics of power generation policy and heaven forbid, the health of its potential ‘8 cent a day’ viewers’, by the governance of the day.

    Andrew Richards of Pac Hydro and his ‘repartee’, not, appeared to wish to be anywhere but there.

    And amazingly I could not sight any of his corporate collegiate buddies.

    It would appear his blood pressure was a tad elevated.

    He was really pushing the envelope when answering, “No, we haven’t gagged anyone. err .. What we have in contracts is the intellectual property and and rights of people”.

    The question that should have followed, perhaps, would be along the lines of whose intellectual property, what it is, and the rights of which people and what those rights may entail.

    With regard to Cooper not being able to use said intellectual property, Richards tried to, in a very lame manner, suggest that they had not been able to contact Steven due to him not answering his phone.

    Great work Pac Hydro communications guru.

    Next time you front the good Senators, although it may be considered flippant, I suggest you ask “Would you like fries with that?”

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