Today Tonight Reports on South Australia’s Wind Power Policy Disaster

waterloo

Pointless power source: Waterloo’s community destroyers.

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South Australia is where the Australian wind industry meets its ‘Waterloo’ – which is fitting in its way: one of SA’s worst public health disasters began at Waterloo in 2010 – when 37 Vesta’s V90s (3MW monsters) spun into gear.

From then on, the incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound these things cast over a distance of 10km has destroyed the ability of dozens of families to sleep, live in and otherwise enjoy their very own homes.

Channel Seven’s Today Tonight was on to that community calamity very early on, including coverage exposing the South Australian EPA’s bend-over-backwards efforts to fudge noise data and to otherwise help its wind industry mates to cover up health effects – such as sleep deprivation – so obviously caused by excessive night-time noise:

Health Impacts of Waterloo Wind Farm

Channel Seven’s Today Tonight is the must-watch current affairs show for SA’s aspiring working class – when an issue becomes the top story on Today Tonight, you can guarantee you’ve reached not only a substantial audience by number; but that you’ve also hit political dead-centre – in terms of reaching voters capable of deciding elections; and policies on the way to them.

The Today Tonight viewer mightn’t be a Twitter jockey, but he or she is a first-class talker; whether it’s at work or backyard barbecues, whatever they’ve seen soon becomes the topic of the day (or the week).

When the topic is their spiralling power bills and, despite paying through the nose for the stuff, suffering statewide blackouts to boot, you can guarantee plenty of fist-waving fury being added to tea room and backyard debates on just who, or what’s to blame.

Just how dire things are for the wind industry, was laid out in a barbecue-stopper a couple of weeks back, that has snapped South Australians out of their complacency about energy policy, in general; and their wind power debacle, in particular – that broadcast was picked up here:

Rocketing Prices AND Blackouts: South Australians Lament Their Dark & Dismal Wind ‘Powered’ Future

STT thinks that Today Tonight has done what all good journalists aim for: to shine an unwelcome light on the falsehoods pedalled by our political betters for their own selfish ends.

In the case of the great wind power fraud, the source of the institutional corruption that feeds it is twofold: the votes that come from the gullible and naive inner city lefties – who haven’t a clue about power generation (or much else, for that matter); and the $billions in REC Tax/Subsidy that gets siphoned from unwitting power consumers into the coffers of Union Super funds (like IFM, owner of beleaguered wind power outfit, Pacific Hydro – see our post here) – and thereafter channeled into the Labor Party’s electioneering war chest.

For hard-pressed South Australians, the inevitable consequence of that cynicism is an energy ‘policy’ that has killed off whatever ‘competitive’ edge SA may have once had – by delivering the highest power prices in the Nation (by a factor of 2 or more), if not the highest in the World on a purchasing power parity basis. Leaving it with the highest unemployment rate in the Nation – with worse to come.

Moreover, with the full cost impact of the Federal government’s $3 billion a year wind power subsidy scheme yet to come (the LRET doesn’t start to really bite until 2017 – see our post here); and the closure of SA’s cheapest base-load power producer – Alinta’s Port Augusta plants – due in April 2016, SA power prices are expected to more than double again.

Then there’s the issue of statewide power blackouts caused when wind power output totally collapses, on a totally unpredictable basis:

Wind Industry’s Armageddon: Wind Farm Output Collapse Leaves 110,000 South Australian Homes & Businesses Powerless

SA 1 Nov 15

Put in that context, the State mandated destruction of dozens of thriving rural communities, by rendering homes uninhabitable and/or crushing the value of property by more than half – or unsaleable at any price (see our post here) is even more despicable.

In the Today Tonight broadcast below, STT Champion, Hendrik Gout launches a sardonic side-winder missile at South Australia’s wind power ‘policy’ disaster. And, in a little over 8 minutes, manages to score direct hits on every target we’ve outlined above; viz, a costly, intermittent, unreliable power source; that’s killing industry and destroying the viability of SA’s rural heartland. Along the way, Hendrik enlists support from the AFL’s CEO, Gillon McLachlan – whose power and passion for the fight we covered here:

AFL’s CEO – Gillon McLachlan Hammers the ‘Desecration of his Country’ & the ‘Extreme Community Division’ Caused by Wind Farms

Click on the image below, which takes you to video of the Today Tonight broadcast. Transcript of which appears below.

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thumb palmer

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Palmer Wind Farm
Hendrik Gout
Channel 7’s Today Tonight
17 December 2015

Transcript

Rodney Lohse (Today Tonight reporter): Good evening and welcome to the program. It’s a fight between city and country, between friends and neighbours and between the politics of climate change and the delivery of cheap, reliable power. It’s about a plan to install over a hundred giant turbines on the Mount Lofty Ranges and the people who don’t want to live next to a power station. But it seems they’re in a losing fight against the might of city-based politics. Hendrik Gout has this report.

[Football announcer: Good kick.]

Hendrik Gout (Today Tonight reporter): What does this, have to do with this?

Gillon McLachlan (AFL CEO): Hello, my name is Gillon McLachlan.

Hendrik Gout: Nothing, except this farm near Mount Pleasant is where AFL Chief Executive Officer, Gillon McLachlan grew up.

Gillon McLachlan: A property on Angus Valley Road, and which has kilometres of boundary right next to the proposed turbines.

Hendrik Gout: McLachlan may not have taken his eye off the ball, but even during the footy season he’s had an eye on this – Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges, where a foreign company, Trustpower, wants to build a power station 26 kilometres long, 10 wide, with a 114 electric turbines on hills like these. Each turbine taller than Adelaide’s highest skyscraper and the blades longer than many footballers can kick – 65 metres.

Gillon McLachlan:  My father was much involved in the contract negotiations between the wind farm company and the landholders. He was recently in the north of Scotland and was appalled to realise just how massive and imposing on the landscape modern turbines are.

Hendrik Gout:  When assembled, each generator will wear a crown wider than the Westpac building – and there’s a gross of them.

[Protesters chanting]

Hendrik Gout: This month, a 1000 feet and more marched Adelaide against climate change. Their government has appeased them with 24 new windfarms on the way. Then, with a contingent of 20 supporters, their city-centric Premier (Labor holds no seats outside of the capital) – he jetted to Paris.

Jay Wetherall (Premier of South Australia): When you’ve got an international leadership position, you can’t hide your light under a bushel.

Hendrik Gout: Taking along a taxpayer-funded film crew. The closest windfarm to these well-meaning protesters is well over their horizon. While for these protesters it will be right next door.

Female speaker: We believe that the construction of this wind farm would severely negatively impact on our way of living.

Male speaker: I just wanted to say that I don’t want the wind farm up at Palmer. [applause].

Hendrik Gout:  Cambrai – population, last census, 501. The pub’s famous, from one end of Cambrai to the other. And it’s not as though Cambrains oppose intermittent unreliable energy. But a power station, even if driven by wind, with its various towers and technology, is not what most villagers from Cambrai to Sanderston to Palmer want on their boundary.

Female speaker: How can you guarantee we will not be affected by incessant, turbine-generated low frequency noise and infrasound?

Hendrik Gout: Which is why they’re here, with the local council which is, deciding whether or not to approve the local power station.

Female speaker: We’re here for life. This is our security. This is our home. This is our superannuation. And this company want to take it from us.

Hendrik Gout: And those who couldn’t make it in person, came via video link.

Gillon McLachlan:  Rosebank was built by relatives in 1860 and has remained in my family ever since, continuously. Our family had the opportunity to put turbines on our land. But our commitment to Rosebank, to our sons and daughters and to their children and to our community meant that we decided to not to.

Hendrik Gout: But some people have taken Trustpower on trust.

Mary Morris: I think there were about 150 submissions against the wind farm and about 25 for. Overwhelming community resistance to the project.

Hendrik Gout: And yet still a divided community all the same.

Mary Morris: Oh yes, brother against brother, neighbour against neighbour, it’s not a pretty sight.

Hendrik Gout: In Adelaide, global warming. In Cambrai, heated arguments.

Male speaker: This proposal has already stripped the community in half. People who’ve been mates for 30 years do not talk to one another now.

Hendrik Gout: A very few landholders have been paid by Trustpower to allow multiple turbines on their land. Those contracts, or deeds are super-secret and prohibit the signatories from later complaining.

Female speaker: I’ll quote one sentence from that. ‘You must treat as confidential all information made available to you pursuant to this deed, including the existence of this deed’.

Hendrik Gout: In contrast, the value of neighbouring properties goes down. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder; ugliness in the sky of the landholder.

Female speaker: Federal magistrate Kate Hughes, has accepted that wind farms slash the value of surrounding properties. For one part of the property she accepted a 33% fall in value was likely.

Male speaker: You tell me if this is not desecrating the look of the Eastern Mount Lofty Ranges hill face.

Gillon McLachlan:  I am entirely sceptical about a net benefit when one contemplates the potential land devaluation across the area.

Hendrik Gout:  A letter from People’s Choice credit union to a prospective borrower:

Female speaker: ‘We are unable to proceed with a residential loan due to the wind farm’. I find this horrific.

Hendrik Gout: The tips of these blades turn at almost 300 kilometres an hour.

Gillon McLachlan:  Even if it were to be conclusively established that noise from wind farms does not produce health problems, it’s annoying and effects quality of life. It’s one thing to drive by a wind farm and think they’re inoffensive. It is quite another to be subjected to them every hour, of every day, for the rest of your life.

Hendrik Gout: But there’s another noise in the boardrooms of South Australia’s most important employers. South Australia’s reliance on wind and solar is driving up power prices – we’re already close to double Victoria and New South Wales – with even worse to come. It’s a crisis for the state and for Treasurer Koutsantonis, forced into a crisis meeting of major energy users and suppliers on Tuesday. Nyrstar has told government that electricity prices, and potential blackouts from intermittent energy, threaten its all-important Port Pirie smelter redevelopment. But all politics is local. And the local’s talk is inflammatory.

Female speaker: We have seen from our very own houses, these aircraft approach at tree height to save our friends. We know that this would not happen amongst a mass of turbines.

Gillon McLachlan:  It’s extraordinary to me, I think to many reasonable minds, that third parties can decide that massive, imposing, permanent infrastructure should be built from which they will financially benefit and impose on others proximate a visual blight, a permanent, saddening scar which forever changes this beautiful area.

Male speaker: Trustpower, and all the other proponents for turbine development do exactly the same thing. Divide and conquer. They strip mates apart, they strip families apart and walk away. This community, even if it doesn’t go ahead, will take a generation to get back together.
Today Tonight

Predictably, the Labor Party faithful stacked on the Planning Panel rubber-stamped Trustpower’s application on Friday 18 December. But the locals aren’t content to leave it at that.

STT hears that around 200 property owners are hell-bent on stopping the project in its tracks. In what could be the biggest class-action against land owners hosting turbines, these family and community defenders are not about to let the callous and selfish greed of a few of their neighbours destroy everything they’ve worked for – their health, wealth and happiness.

STT also hears that Gillon McLachlan and his family are all set to join in the fight, too.

On the strength of the community’s fury at being treated as wind industry ‘road-kill’ by Jay Weatherill and his planning panel stooges, Trustpower’s hopeful turbine hosts can expect a date with a Supreme Court Judge, very soon.

When your opponents have everything to gain, and nothing to lose, you can expect one hell of a fight.

angry-mob

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. EVERYONE must read this!

  2. Bill Schutz says:

    Good luck to all those Croweaters in my home state!
    Keep the ugly, inefficient and ineffective things out of your beautiful farming and grazing lands!
    The blatant rape of our land, to hopelessly misguided green ideology just blows me away. The Premier is a disgrace, and needs to wake up and smell the roses! Not smoking the green stuff! He’s an idiot!
    Great article STT!
    Keep up the good fight.
    As with you guys, we have been fighting up here in Cairns and Mareeba, to stop the Mt Emerald Wind Project, and we have lost the last battle, but not the war!
    Never surrender to the UN, it’s green tentacles are reaching far these days!

  3. And with all this shit happening around the world they still want to go ahead with Waterloo II in South Australia. We have got to stop this madness!

  4. Reblogged this on ajmarciniak and commented:
    South Australia is where the Australian wind industry meets its ‘Waterloo’ – which is fitting in its way: one of SA’s worst public health disasters began at Waterloo in 2010 – when 37 Vesta’s V90s (3MW monsters) spun into gear.

    From then on, the incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound these things cast over a distance of 10km has destroyed the ability of dozens of families to sleep, live in and otherwise enjoy their very own homes.

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