Australian Senators – Day, Leyonhjelm & Canavan – Line Up to Can Big Wind

senate review

Senate Inquiry: just part of the aftermath for Big Wind.


STT likes to go in hard, call it early and keep on backing it up. Sure we descend to colourful language, and polish it off with a healthy smear of good old-fashioned sarcasm. But the idiom and imagery we use sits atop a pile of festering wind industry generated lies, deception and common garden variety fraud.

Back in January this year, we likened Steven Cooper’s groundbreaking acoustic study into the harm caused by Pac Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater wind farm disaster, to the detonation of a small, but effective, nuclear device:

Steven Cooper’s Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm Study the Beginning of the End for the Wind Industry

We wrote that:

Earlier this week, a small, but very effective, nuclear device was detonated at Cape Bridewater, which – before Union Super Funds backed Pacific Hydro destroyed it – was a pristine, coastal idyll in South-Western Victoria.

The bomb that went off was a study carried out by one of Australia’s crack acoustic specialists, Steven Cooper – and some typically solid journalism from The Australian’s Graham Lloyd – that put the Pac Hydro initiated pyrotechnics in the International spotlight.

Over the next few posts, STT will analyse just what the detonation, its aftermath and fallout means for an industry which, in Australia, is already on the ropes.

And we’ll look at what it means to the thousands of wind farm victims here – and around the world.

Three months on, and we don’t shy away from any of that. Oh no. If anything likening events at Cape Bridgewater to the wind industry’s very own Hiroshima, was mastery in understatement.

You see, Cooper’s work became the central focus of day one of the Senate Inquiry into the great wind power fraud – which kicked off on 30 March, at Portland, Victoria; right next to Cape Bridgewater.

Steven Cooper giving evidence to the Senate Committee on wind farms

Steven Cooper: gets the undivided attention of 5/6 Senators.


Not only did Cooper impress the Senators (save Anne Urquhaut – a wind industry apologist and mouthpiece for Friends of the Earth’s propaganda parrot, Leigh Ewbank), the subjects of Cooper’s study gave evidence to the Committee in camera (privately); and a number of the Senators (save Urquhaut, of course) visited them in their homes the night before the hearing. A number of other wind farm victims laid out the suffering they’ve been forced to endure by wind farm operators, like AGL at Glenthompson and Macarthur, as well.

senators visiting

Senators tune in to an avoidable & unjustified public health disaster.


From what STT hears, to say that the Senators were “moved” is to put it mildly.

The gut-wrenching evidence of the symptoms and sensations experienced by these people and caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise, infrasound and vibration, left a group of seasoned political performers and parliamentary knuckle men, including libertarian tough-nut, David Leyonhjelm, with watery eyes and lumpy throats.

Senator David Leyonhelm

Senator David Leyonhelm: tough, but not without sympathy.


And rightly so: Pac Hydro’s continued mistreatment of its wind farm’s neighbours is nothing short of a disgrace – it is unnecessary, unjustified and, in STT’s view, criminal.

And, so it was, that South Australian Senator, Bob Day came to describe their evidence as “harrowing”: thankfully, not a word that gets much of a run these days; but, given the gravity of the harm being caused, and the genuineness and obvious sincerity of the victims, one that’s right on the money.

Senator Bob Day

Senator Bob Day: moved by truly “harrowing” evidence of real harm.


The real significance of the day was not only what Day had to say, but that he, and the other Senators on the Committee, including David Leyonhjelm from NSW and Matt Canavan from Queensland have had their eyes opened to the scale of the wind power fraud; and the entirely unnecessary suffering it continues to cause.

These boys have uniformly stiffened their opposition to the wind industry; and have joined forces to call for a halt to the greatest rort of all time.

‘Wait for wind inquiry before changing RET’: Bob Day
The Australian
Rosie Lewis
22 April 2015

Family First senator Bob Day has asked Tony Abbott and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane to delay a vote to change the Renewable Energy Target for six months, until the conclusion of a Senate inquiry into wind turbines.

Any lengthy delay to the scheme is likely to frustrate the renewables sector and energy ­intensive businesses, which have urged the Prime Minister to end the RET stalemate.

Senator Day said he had heard “harrowing” evidence about the impact of wind turbines on humans and animals during the inquiry’s first hearing last month and wanted to know all the “facts and figures” before a RET deal was reached. “I think it’s not unreasonable to ask that we don’t come to any agreement on the Renewable Energy Target until such time that we get to the bottom of this,” he said.

“I’m not talking about ending the RET, I’m just talking about ‘let’s defer the decision on it’. Nothing’s going to happen in the next six months anyway. It’s more important to do this right than do this quick.”

Labor has backed a compromise from the Clean Energy Council, which would cut the large-scale RET from 41,000-GWh by 2020 to 33,500GWh, but the government’s final offer remains at 32,000GWh.

Without support from Labor or the Greens the government needs six crossbench votes to see legislation pass the Senate.

Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm, who is also on the wind turbine committee, said he had given the government’s RET offer conditional support.

Senator Leyonhjelm said he was much more likely to support the government’s target if there was less of a “big leg up” to the wind power industry.

“Ian Macfarlane is doing the rounds in an effort to get six votes,” he said. “I think he probably will get six votes. (The government) will have my vote, with conditions. I’m not a fan of wind turbines, they are killing birds and they are also making some people sick.

“My support for 32,000GWh relates to not giving a particularly big leg up to wind and giving more scope for other sources.”
The Australian

Bob Day followed up with this letter to The Australian on 27 April 2015.

No rush on RET

Because I have asked Industry Minister Ian Mcfarlane and the Prime Minister to defer a vote on the Renewable Energy Target until a Senate inquiry into wind turbines has handed down its report, Kane Thornton of the Clean Energy Council tells me I have little regard for the many thousands of people whose jobs are at risk every day this review remains unresolved.

This inquiry held its first hearing on March 30 and heard evidence about the adverse effects of wind turbines on humans and animals. The evidence was compelling. There was also evidence on the efficacy of wind turbines to reduce carbon dioxide given the amount of the gas required to manufacture and install them.

Since that hearing, information has been provided regarding reports from the 1980s about the adverse effects of wind turbines. The enquiry is keen to understand what wind turbine owners know, and how long they have known it.

The inquiry hands down its report in August. Given the seriousness of the evidence so far, I do not think it unreasonable to request deferring a vote on the RET until then.
Bob Day, Senator for South Australia

The claim by the CEC’s head spruiker, Kane Thornton that “thousands of jobs are at risk” is utter bunkum.

It’s the installation of domestic rooftop solar that’s created the thousands of jobs he’s referring to; and none of them are under threat. No-one is out to scrap the Small-Scale Renewable Scheme (SRES) – which provides the subsidies for rooftop solar – it’s got plenty of backers and – unlike the wind industry – no sworn enemies.

Contrary to the CEC’s wailing, there are no wind industry jobs under threat. Construction activity has ground to a standstill, simply because retailers stopped entering Power Purchase Agreements over 2½ years ago, in November 2012, long before the RET Review kicked off in April 2014 (see our post here).

In the absence of PPAs, wind power outfits have been unable to obtain finance to sling up any new fans. And it’s that fact that means that there are no construction jobs under threat – jobs which are fleeting, in any event. And the handful of wind industry jobs that have any permanence – such as changing oil, replacing generators and blades etc – are under no threat at all from the RET Review. No the CEC’s “case” is all about conflating domestic solar and industrial wind power, when they have absolutely nothing in common – in its efforts to ensure the LRET remains untouched, the wind industry has been using the domestic solar business as a kind of political “human shield”:

Angus Taylor: Coalition set to kill the wind industry, while supporting rooftop solar

As to the claims about the LRET creating thousands of “groovy green” jobs, to debunk that myth you need look no further than Germany, where its insane rush into wind power has seen major energy intensive industries head to the USA to avoid rocketing power prices, while at the same time the millions of so-called “green” jobs, promised by the wind industry there, simply failed to materialise:

German industry set to flee renewable power price punishment

Germany’s Unsustainable “Green” Jobs “Miracle” Collapses

So, Bob Day needn’t worry too much about the CEC’s last ditch attempts to save the LRET; and to avoid the unavoidable: the wind industry is on its last legs, and the CEC knows it.

matt canavan

Senator Matt Canavan: time to can the fans.


Matt Canavan – who hails from Rockhampton in Queensland, and was another on the Senate Inquiry Committee whose eyes and ears were opened at Portland – has now taken a keen interest in the disaster planned by one of Queensland’s cheesy “white-shoe brigade” for the pristine, tropical wilderness of Mt Emerald, on the Atherton Tablelands:

The Battle for Mt Emerald FNQ: What’s the Price for the Sound of Your Silence?

STT’s covered the politically stinky relationships and wheel greasing that’s gone on behind closed 5 Star Resort doors in the developer’s efforts to side-step the obstacle to his plans to wallow in the REC Subsidy trough, created by a thousand or so dedicated pro-farming and pro-community advocates:

Mt Emerald: Tablelands Regional Council Puts People & Environment Before Proposed Wind Farm Disaster

It’s an economic nonsense and environmental disaster in the making that has locals seething – over 90% of locals are dead set against it:

1,000 Sign Petition Against Mt Emerald Wind Farm: Survey says 92% Opposed

Now Matt Canavan has entered the fray.

Media Release
23 April 2015

Senator Matt Canavan has requested the Queensland Government to delay making a final decision on the Mt Emerald wind farm proposal west of Cairns.

This follows a decision by a Senate committee inquiring into wind turbines to hold a public hearing in Cairns on May 18.

Senator Canavan is a member of the Committee and has written to Deputy Premier Jackie Trad requesting a decision on the Mt Emerald proposal be deferred until after the Cairns hearing.

“One of the purposes of the Committee’s hearing in Cairns will be to hear from the local community, and the proponent, about the proposed wind farm at Mt Emerald,” Senator Canavan said. “My understanding is that the Queensland Government is currently considering whether to approve this project.”

“In the interests of wide stakeholder consultation and best-practice policy-making principles, I have requested that the Queensland Government delay making a final decision on the Mt Emerald proposal until it has the opportunity to hear the evidence presented to the Senate Committee.”

“Previous hearings have heard compelling evidence from residents living close to wind turbines about their impact on residents’ health and wellbeing. Unlike other States, Queensland has no specific regulatory guidelines on the minimum distance turbines can be from a place of residence.

“Parliamentary committees provide witnesses with a range of protections. As a result, the evidence provided at this public hearing may add to the statements made at other public consultations that the Queensland Government has already conducted in regards to the Mt Emerald wind turbines proposal.”

Senator Canavan said the Senate Select Committee on Wind Turbines confirmed on Wednesday that it will conduct a public hearing in Cairns on May 18. The Committee is tasked with inquiring into and reporting on the application of regulatory governance and economic impact of wind turbines.
Senator Matt Canavan

Despite Matt’s more than reasonable call for a little public health prudence, Labor wind industry shill, Jackie Trad went ahead and gave planning approval, in accordance with the Labor Party/Union Super Fund business model.

Were Trad to have canned the project, it would have cut across Labor’s cash cow, by further threatening the Ponzi scheme in which Labor/Union heavy owned and (badly) run outfits, like Pac Hydro are well ensconced. In a cunning move, Trad’s press release giving the disaster the nod, was slipped out on Anzac Day, so that there would be no way the media would give it any oxygen at all.

STT thinks that it’s no surprise that the Senators on the wind farm Inquiry Committee have turned sharply against the great wind power fraud. And, with Jackie Trad’s sly little move at Mt Emerald, we expect Matt Canavan will come back swinging just that little bit harder.

Human beings, possessed of a modicum of empathy and decency, generally don’t like to sit back and watch the common law rights of hard-working people to live in, use and enjoy their homes get steam-rolled. And much less so, when there’s no justification at all for the harm and suffering being endured by the wind industry’s victims – which it regards as “road-kill” – and which the mock-medicos that spruik for it sneeringly call “wind farm wing-nuts“.

However, as we’ve pointed out before, the endless lies tossed up by the wind industry and its parasites just don’t wash anymore. These days, people are becoming switched on to the fraud; and angry for having been taken for gullible dupes.

Once reasonable people are introduced to the facts about the insane costs of intermittent and unreliable wind power they cease to support it.

When they learn of the senseless slaughter of millions of birds and bats, and the tragic suffering caused to hard working rural people by giant fans, reasonable people start to bristle.

But when they learn that – contrary to the ONLY “justification” for the $billions filched from power consumer and taxpayers and directed as perpetual subsidies to wind power outfits – wind power INCREASES CO2 emissions in the electricity sector – rather than decreasing them, as claimed – their attitude stiffens to the point of hostility to those behind the fraud and those hell-bent on sustaining it.

In our travels we’ve met plenty of people that started out in favour of wind power and turned against it.  But we’ve yet to meet anyone who started out opposed to wind power, who later became a supporter.  Funny about that.

Present the facts to reasonable people – and they’ll want to know how the scam got started in the first place, and why it hasn’t been stopped in its tracks already?

Watching the Senators on the Inquiry arriving at that point, provides STT with more than just a little encouragement: from here-on, the wind industry hasn’t got a hope in hell of convincing them as to any part of its pitch.

As seminal mod-rockers, The Who, wailed in 1971, STT thinks it’s a case of we Won’t Get Fooled Again:


About stopthesethings

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


  1. June 19 2015
    Conservative Government bringing the wind farm folly to an end.
    Yesterday the British Government made two announcements that signal the end to on-shore wind farms in locations where they are not supported by people who live there. The announcements were:

    1. The Government will close the Renewables Obligation across Great Britain to new onshore wind generating stations from 1 April 2016.

    2. Changes to planning so that residents have “the final say” over onshore wind farm applications – meaning that turbines cannot continue to be “imposed on communities” who do not want them.

  2. pacella says:

    The parliament of Germany’s medical profession has called on its leaders to support a halt to further wind farm developments near housing until more research has been undertaken into the possible health impacts of low-frequency noise from wind turbines. It said the health effects of infra­sound (below 20 Hz) and low-frequency sound (below 100 Hz) in relation to emissions from wind turbines were still open questions, as were the effects of noise below the hearing threshold or lower frequencies with increasing exposure duration. The assembly said the erection of more turbines close to settlements should be stopped until there was reliable data to exclude a safety hazard.

  3. Keith Staff says:

    The wind farm fraud is part of the climate change madness promoted by self interest alarmists, — the real Climate change
    threat is to your wallet.

  4. **Breaking News* The Queensland Government has just approved a wind farm in Far North Queensland on the Tablelands west of Cairns!!! When asked why they could not wait for the end of the senate inquiry… they said: “(Silence)”

    It looks like this Fantasia Government is determined to annoy everybody. If this project was almost approved by the LNP they have canned it (Trinity inlet Dredging), as it looked like another project was not going to be approved by the LNP, they approved it. (Wind farm and Mareeba airport!!) Kindergarten is back in Parliament!!! Na-na-nanana!!

    • Martin Hayles, Curramulka says:

      Please Mareeba, keep pushing for an answer from this corrupted system of governance.

      They know damn well why they have approved this abomination, and it has nothing to do with the minister taking a critical and balanced view.

      It has been made under duress, and conspiracy by and with third parties that this has been given approval and this has been the inevitable outcome from it’s genesis.

      This is a planning process nightmare mirror of the Ceres Wind farm in South Australia and every windmill nightmare that this country has seen.

      It is a tragedy that the public servants and politicians -they are always servants of the public- have been bought and sold by corporate self interest.

      It is not in my nature to feel hatred, but this industry and it’s governmental servants have awoken something I could never have forseen and I know this is a sentiment of many.

      A pox on you all.

  5. Melissa Ware says:

    Same old, same old… the stupidity and shame on these decision makers grows bigger, so too, the apology and rectification required is proportionate to the cumulative harm being caused.

    I don’t know if I am more disappointed or disgusted by this decision, probably both. Ms Trad will dress it up however she likes to justify the decision she must with any ounce of common sense know is wrong. There will be no waiting for the RET announcement or the Senate Inquiry findings or the much needed independent health studies…..the Wind Rush stampedes on and Qld well and truly joins the wind industry club that says stuff the people and stuff their rights and stuff any animal or thing on the path.

    The good Senators of the Inquiry, have broken out and with common sense and decency recognise our plight. Every single Planner, the EPA, the health authorities should get into the homes and environments where civilians are treated as ‘road kill’, nimbies, wing nuts, left unprotected and ignored for years by totally inadequate planning guidelines and permits and by the zealous staff who create and guard them. Ask the hard questions from us, don’t just listen, go back and ask some hard questions of your superiors.

    Understand too that in my view, as a noise harmed person, the community consultation process at Cape Bridgewater was a complete waste of time and totally failed as a means of addressing the wrongs inflicted by the company, pacific hydro on us.

    A hotline does not stop this machinery and the infernal and interfering racket, permits do not stop the ‘noise’ and the complaints process has failed to fix the known problems. It doesn’t matter how many ‘cows’ you think are undisturbed by the turbines above, Independent Acousticians are saying, (in effect, its not mad cow disease, not nocebo), these impacts are measurable when measured correctly by using the wind turbine signature method, dB WTS.

    Explain why our homes and communities are inundated with and vibrating from never ending noise pollution. Explain how Trad and the other decision makers, can stand aside and allow the two thousand, five hundred people living within 5kms of the proposal to be exposed to exactly the same if not far worse conditions that people resoundly object to in Australia and around the world.

    Infra-sound ignores the 1.5km mark, infrasound ignores misapplied rules of planning, it increases and carries over long distances. Rural families will never be protected by Government condoned industry noise standards failing to measure ILFN which cause detrimental, harmful health impacts.

  6. No Turbines says:

    Yeah, really “strict conditions”. It has “wind industry” written all over it. Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has been railroaded by stooges in her own department. Will the senators have the time to get to the bottom of this stinking mess?

  7. stand against wind says:

    Jackie Trad is: 1) stupid 2) gullible or 3) both. She is claiming “strict permit conditions” for Mount Emerald yet they are the worst ever in Australian history. No surprises there – they got a wind industry consultant to vet them. “Dishonest John” Morris from Port Bajool must have feathered quite a few nests in the Minister’s department to make this happen. Bring on the Senate Inquiry in Cairns on 18 May and let’s see some feathers fly.

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