Thai Turbine-Terrorist, RATCH Scores Monumental “Own Goal” during Senate’s Wind Farm Inquiry

head slap

The wind industry has another bad day at the office.


The Australian Senate’s Inquiry into the great wind power fraud resumed on 18 May in Cairns, Far North Queensland.

One of the main topics for the day was the arrogant and high-handed misconduct of RATCH; and its efforts to ride roughshod over the rights of communities on the Atherton Tablelands – surrounding its threatened Mt Emerald wind farm. Although, given that its Thai parent is looking to ditch its Australian “asset” – as if it were a new, more virulent form of herpes – RATCH won’t be around long enough to follow through on the pending debacle:

Wind Power Ponzi Scheme Implodes: IFM Investors Ditches Pac Hydro & Pac Hydro, AGL and RATCH Ditch Wind Farms

Over 90% of locals are bitterly opposed to, yet another, pointless, economic and environmental disaster (see our posts here and here). No surprises there.

Confirming what locals have known all along, RATCH’s goons, true to form, behaved like a band of ham-fisted prats – starting with an attempt to cover up “pre-emptive” land clearing efforts.

Mount Emerald wind farm poisoning claims aired at Senate hearing in Cairns
ABC Online
Kirsty Nancarrow
18 May 2015

A Senate committee hearing on wind turbines has heard claims of poisoning on the site of a proposed wind farm in far north Queensland.

About 50 Atherton Tablelands’ residents opposed to the Mount Emerald wind farm attended yesterday’s hearing in Cairns.

The Queensland Government recently approved a controversial proposal to build 63 wind turbines at Mount Emerald but the project is yet to gain federal approval.

Tablelands regional councillor Marjorie Pagani told the hearing, it appeared clearing began on the site before RATCH Australia received State Government approval for the project.

“There are poisoned tracks either side of the creek,” she said.

“It’s very clearly depicted. Cracking of the trees which is caused by poison, a stench of poison in all the waterways and if one goes outside the turbine proposed circles it’s thick, lush cypress pine vegetation and undergrowth.”

A noise specialist, Robert Thorne, told the hearing, the conditions placed on the wind farm could not be enforced.

Dr Thorne, who previously studied sound levels on Mount Emerald for the Tablelands Regional Council, told the hearing, there were flaws in the current regulation of wind farms.

“They can’t be enforced, they’re impractical, they’re ambiguous, in basis they’re unreasonable both to the wind farm operator, because it doesn’t say how long this has to work for, and the residents, because there’s no complaints process,” he said..

RATCH rejects wind farm site poisoning claims

RATCH’s Anil Nangia said it would investigate the poisoning claims but rejected the allegations.

“There’s certainly not been any poisoning or chemicals put on site that we’re aware of,” he said. “We certainly haven’t done any land clearing that we’re aware of. “The turbine site hasn’t been finalised. We’re still going through the conditions of the DA [development application] which requires us to have a 1.5 kilometre setback from the nearest residence.” He said he was confident the company could comply with any regulations. “We’re happy to work with the committee. If there is some scientific basis for new conditions we will comply with those,” he said.  “We believe that there’s already been eight inquiries in the last five years into the wind farm and all of them have found that wind farms are operated under the required rules and regulations and there’s been no issues with the wind farm’s operation and maintenance.”

The Senate committee is due to report in early August.
ABC Online

Hmmm … it wouldn’t be the first time that RATCH’s operatives have been caught gilding the lily. One of their “best” – Nick Valentine – was caught out using a fictitious handle – Frank Bestic – in order to infiltrate RATCH’s opponents at Collector in NSW (see our posts here and here and here).

Arrogance and hubris aren’t normally seen as beneficial attributes for employees in the main; save in the wind power business, where they’re obviously essential prerequisites, as this story (also from the Cairn’s Senate hearing) proves.

Comic fail by Tableland wind farm developer
The Cairns Post
Daniel Bateman
19 May 2015

THE developer of the Mt Emerald wind farm has caused outrage by tabling a cartoon that ridiculed opponents of wind turbines at a Senate hearing in Cairns – and then asked Senators to colour it in with pencils.

About 60 people – a majority residents from the Tableland – packed the public hearing yesterday morning to hear Ratch Australia questioned by the Select Committee on Wind Turbines about the regulatory governance and economic impact of the $380 million project.

The wind farm, to be built near Walkamin early next year, was granted State approval last month.

The joint venture with local property developer Port Bajool has faced stiff local opposition for about four years from residents concerned about potential adverse health and environmental effects from the turbines.

During the inquiry, Ratch Australia project development manager Joseph Hallenstein presented a First Dog on the Moon cartoon from news website Crikey that portrays the anti-wind turbine lobby as conspiracy theorists that fear wind farms could cause them to fall off horses.

“I printed out black and white copies and I thought that maybe you could get some coloured pencils from reception and colour them in later on,’’ Mr Hallenstein told the hearing.

Committee chairman, Victorian independent Senator John Madigan, said it was disappointing the developer had attacked people’s legitimate concerns about wind farms.

“It reflects quite poorly upon the company when one of their representatives engages in this sort of behaviour,” he told the Cairns Post.

“Any serious business, when there are questions about the product they are providing is causing harm, would seek to establish whether that is the case, and take reasonable precautions against it occurring.

“We have received compelling evidence, as a Committee, that there actually might be an issue with infrasound.”

Ratch Australia business development manager Anil Nangia later told reporters the company did indeed take the Senate inquiry seriously.

“The cartoon was meant to bring a bit of humour to the debate,’’ he said.

“It was not meant to show any disrespect to the Senators and it was just meant to show that this topic can be dealt in a mature way, with a bit of humour as well.

“It doesn’t need to be taken so seriously.”

The company was also questioned by the committee on whether any government subsidies it would receive from the development over its 25-year lifespan – estimated to be more than $500 million – was a good deal for taxpayers.

Mr Nangia told the hearing the funding would be spread throughout Ratch’s other properties across Australia.

Mr Canavan said the money should be spent on further studies to determine whether there were health impacts associated with wind farms.

“A few million would help fill the scientific gap,’’ he said.
Cairns Post

senate review

Senators (save wind industry spruiker, Urquhaut) not amused.


What a fine piece of advocacy from RATCH’s Joseph Hallenstein!

His efforts at ‘persuasion’ went down like the Hindenberg – suddenly and in a fiery mess: “gormless”, doesn’t quite cover it.

One of the general rules of pitching a case is to know as much about your intended audience as possible, before clearing your throat and launching off on your mission to convince them of the merits of your argument.

Had Hallenstein bothered to do even a little rudimentary homework, he would have noted the attitude of the Senators to the wholly unnecessary adverse health impacts being suffered by wind farm neighbours going into the hearing. He would have noticed comments in the mainstream press by the likes of SA Senator, Bob Day describing the moving evidence given at Portland by Pac Hydro’s victims as “harrowing”:

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

Not that it matters much, given what the Senators have already heard, and the hundreds of submissions made to like effect, but the efforts of the clowns from RATCH have only served to stiffen the Senators’ resolve to smack into the systematic regulatory failure and insidious institutional corruption at every level of government.

STT’s happy to call it an “own goal” – and to thank RATCH for putting forward people that can only serve to reinforce what STT followers have long ago concluded, about the stench that pervades an “industry” that’s rotten to its subsidy-soaked core.

own goal

RATCH chalks up another wind industry own goal.

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 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:

    Power systems specialists maintains that the cost of installation of renewable energy (wind farms) is exorbitant and even though it costs precious little to run, we, the consumers are paying much higher electricity prices because it will take many years to recoup the costs of the initial construction. Ever since these green schemes have been introduced our power costs have risen dramatically.

  3. 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.

  4. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    Back in 2010 the cartoons shown to the Senators were being produced and sent around to those anti-sanity people who were/are so inclined to denigrate those they have/are targeting to humiliate.

    In August 2010 I wrote to the Vice Chancellor Michael Spence at Sydney University complaining about Professor Chapman’s promotion of this series of cartoons, his response was:

    “Regarding the Crikey cartoon, it was clearly not sent to you by Professor Chapman and his forwarded email was originally sent to staff who would understand the context. I am sorry that you feel offended by it although the level of abuse targeted at Professor Chapman by people who disagree with him may go some way to excusing his insensitivity.”

    I leave you to judge whether this could be considered an adequate, responsible and acceptable response from ANY University Vice Chancellor.

    If Professor Chapman had not publicly denigrated sufferers or those supporting them, his name would have not been mentioned by anyone.

    The following was on the Professor’s tobacco website in 2008. I have not reproduced the offensive scribbling’s.

    “I’ve been collating as many examples as I can find of diseases, symptoms, and aberrant behaviours in humans and animals said to be caused by exposure to wind turbines. The ever-expanding lost now stands at 127 …. . See list here …….

    Yesterday, Crikey ‘s in-house cartoonist ‘First Dog on the Moon”, produced the cartoon below. Posters are being made. Let me know if you’d like any to hand out to your meetings.


    Simon Chapman PhD FASSA
    Professor & Director of Research
    Sydney School of Public Health A27
    University of Sydney
    NSW 2006, AUSTRALIA …”

  5. No Turbines says:

    Just goes to show: give them enough rope and they’ll hang themselves.

    Ratch should not only apologise to the Senators for such insensitive and inappropriate behaviour, but also to the resident (tortured by Ratch’s turbines at Windy Hill Wind Farm) who appeared later in the day.

    Ratch representatives squirmed under questioning about its joint venture partner’s “gag clauses”, Windy Hill non-compliance, the value of the REC subsidies to the project, and the $2 status of Mount Emerald Wind Farm Pty Ltd.

    Outright lies were told: Ratch’s claimed agreement with the council for 3 yearly monitoring at Windy Hill was shot down in flames by documents handed up by the council’s representative.

    In the meantime, Ratch has scuttled off to the Council, no doubt in an attempt to cover its lie by getting an agreement with Council for 3 yearly noise monitoring. We can only expect more of the same “openness and transparency” from Ratch on the Mt Emerald project.

  6. Stand against wind says:

    The lack of respect Ratch showed to the senators is the tip of the iceberg, compared to the contempt they have shown to residents living around the Mount Emerald site. How do these people sleep at night?!

  7. Terry Conn says:

    Talk about insidious institutionalised corruption. One of the biggest fans of wind farms and infrasound driving rural residents crazy is the current president of the AMA (an organisation that represents the ‘science’ of medicine that has not ever done a clinical assessment of a wind farm impacted citizen claiming ill health as a result of a wind farm) who performs ‘neuro surgery’ at great expense to Australia’s citizens, thanks to that wonderfully public subsidised system called ‘medicare’.

    Hey, he knows what a great lurk that is, and is just busting his guts to make sure the likes of Infigen get in on the act and who cares who suffers and who pays! As for saving the planet? Well, who cares, it’s the money stupid and if it’s good enough for me it’s good enough for them and there’s plenty of farmers in Asia, We don’t them messing up Australia, let’s plant some lovely clean, green windmills (painted white of course, shows off the green BMW).

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