Environment Minister, Greg Hunt Backs Slaughter of ‘Protected’ Eagles With Taxpayer Underwritten ‘Loans’ for Wind Farms

greg hunt

Greg Hunt: straining hard to avoid the tag environmental ‘hypocrite’

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The number of Liberal (Australia’s once small-government, conservative, business and family friendly) Party MPs that hold a bizarre affection for these things can be tallied up on one hand.

The Liberal’s King of the Wind Worship Cult is the hapless Environment Minister, young Gregory Hunt. Hunt’s office is headed up by wind industry plant, Patrick Gibbons – who, along with his best mate, Ken McAlpine are responsible for cooking up the great wind power fraud in Australia.

At the time, they were staffers in the office of Victorian Labor Minister, Theo Theophanous, who with his brother, Andrew added more than a little ‘colour’ to politics.

In a cosier than cosy turn of events, Gibbons runs Hunt’s office; and McAlpine is now Vestas’ top media manipulator in Oz. How convenient!

Hunt and Gibbons have been running a campaign to save the unsustainable Large-Scale Renewable Energy Target – that Australia’s top commercial power retailers decided to kill-off over 3 years ago, by refusing to enter long-term Power Purchase Agreements with wind power outfits – here’s the detail on the LRET’s inevitable demise:

What Kills the Australian Wind Industry: A $45 Billion Federal Power Tax

But neither energy economics, nor common business sense were ever Greg Hunt’s strongest points. As the Federal Environment Minister, you’d be forgiven for picturing him out planting trees along an eroded creek bed; or taking in injured native wild life, of the kind that gets clobbered on Australian roads. Well, that’s the kind of warm, fuzzy image Greg would love you to hold.

However, the facts cleave away at Greg’s would be ‘tree-hugger’ image to a more self-interested, mercenary reality. You see, as the wind industry’s front man in the Coalition, Greg (for some inexplicable reason) continues to push the ‘merits’ of a power generation source that the Nordic countries have dropped:

Wind Power Investment Collapses in Sweden, Denmark, Finland & Norway

nordic wind power investment

That David Cameron’s Conservatives have all but killed off by slashing subsidies:

UK Wind Industry Collapses as David Cameron Slashes Subsidies for Wind Power

That saw wind Conquistador, Spain – in an effort to revive its moribund economy – reverse its wind power subsidy scheme, pulling its taxpayer funded rort to a screaming halt – with a measly 27MW of new wind power installed in the last 2 years:

Spain Puts its Economy Destroying Wind Industry to the Sword: ZERO MWs Installed in 2015

Despite the telling responses to the great wind power fraud in Britain, Scandinavia and Spain, young Greg has reversed the lending mandate of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (a taxpayer underwritten renewable slush fund) – directing it to lend $67m for a new wind project at Arrarat in Victoria (backed with a PPA from the ACT government).

Greg’s underhanded move quite rightly drew a furious response from STT Champion, Victorian Senator, John Madigan (see this story).

John Madigan’s fury arose because Hunt had agreed with him and the other Cross-Bench Senators that the CEFC would no longer lend to wind power outfits, in exchange for the Cross-Bench support Hunt needed to get his LRET salvage package through the Senate (see our post here).

The Coalition’s side of the ‘bargain’ was that the CEFC would only lend to ‘immature’ renewable sources; whereas wind power was seen as a ‘mature’ technology, not warranting any further government support: save, of course, the $45 billion to be added to retail power bills as REC Tax – all designed to be directed to wind power outfits, like Greg’s mates at Infigen. We guess you could call wind power a ‘mature’ technology – given that it was dropped as a power source in the 19th Century, for fairly obvious reasons.

June 2015 National

The Coalition’s ‘deal’ with the Cross-Benchers was, however, done when the CEFC was controlled by Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann – who saw it for the wantonly wasteful corporate welfare that it clearly is; and, therefore, wanted to scrap it outright.

Now that the CEFC is under Hunt’s control, Greg appears keen to use it as his personal piggy bank, lending to his wind industry mates, running wind power outfits that commercial banks won’t touch with a barge pole. Not that Greg or his mates bare any risk; that’s all for the Australian taxpayer, of course.

Under Patrick Gibbon’s ‘brilliant’ direction (no doubt with his mate McAlpine’s ‘help’), Hunt’s latest move to save the LRET – and their wind industry benefactors – is a plan to punch around 400 of these things off the Victorian coast.

Never mind the fact that offshore wind power performs no better than its onshore cousin – both being wholly weather dependent ‘systems’ – requiring 100% of their ‘capacity’ to be backed up 100% of the time with coal and gas-fired plant. And never mind that the cost of (occasional) offshore wind power is 60% more expensive than the (occasional) onshore stuff. As The Economist put it:

“Offshore wind power is staggeringly expensive. Dieter Helm, an economist at Oxford University, describes it as “among the most expensive ways of marginally reducing carbon emissions known to man”. Under a subsidy system unveiled late in 2013, the government guarantees farms at sea £155 ($250) per megawatt hour for their juice. That is three times the current wholesale price of electricity and about 60% more than is promised to onshore turbines.”
(for more see our post here)

Then there’s the real environmental cost meted out by these things, including the wholesale slaughter of eagles, hawks and other majestic raptors.

In 2012, AGL set up 140 Vestas V112s (3MW monsters) at Macarthur in Western Victoria, which its own environmental consultants found to be an avian killing field – with each turbine slicing and dicing 10 or more birds annually – at a minimum – with many of those 1,500 or so carcasses being eagles, hawks and kites:

Bird Carcass Count proves AGL’s Macarthur Wind Farm is an Avian Slaughterhouse

Where dry old statistics are often lost on faux environmentalists – like Greg Hunt – sometimes a few pictures can get the message across. Just before Christmas, Macarthur fine-wool grower, Gus Gardner was working his back paddock and spotted an injured Wedge-Tailed Eagle under turbine number 24.

annie-gardner

Gus and Annie Gardner: real environmentalists.

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Gus, his wife, Annie and their neighbours stepped in to rescue the mortally wounded and starving top-tier aerial predator. Gus – clearly upset and angry at the pointless waste of yet another magnificent creature’s life – let rip with this email that landed in the inboxes of a cast of thousands – including AGL’s staff, ABC journalists, Greg Hunt and just about every Federal and Victorian MP.

Young Wedge Tail Eagle didn’t make Christmas
From: Marramok
Sent: Thursday, 24 December 2015

To begin with, I would like you all to know that during the planning panel for the Macarthur wind farm, and at other times, AGL representatives told us that their turbines would NOT harm birds, as the birds could fly in between the turbines. WRONG.

We were also told (as all wind farm developers do) that “we kill as many birds in our cars as the turbines will”. WRONG.

We were told that “cats kill as many birds as the turbines will”. WRONG.

Cats do NOT kill Wedge Tailed Eagles, or Brolgas.

In addition to my usual extremely painful symptoms from “bolts” of pressure from excessive, pulsing infrasound/low frequency noise and vibration from the turbines too close to our property, I am writing this complaint to inform you all of my/our experience here, since around 4.30 pm yesterday Wednesday 23rd December.

I was riding along the bottom boundary of our property with the Macarthur Wind Energy Facility checking waters, when my attention was diverted to the paddock next to ours where an enormous wind turbine towers overhead, not far from our boundary fence.

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I noticed a large, dark object very close to the base of turbine No. 24, and upon further observation, determined this was in fact a Wedge Tailed Eagle, on the ground, flapping its wings furiously, attempting to fly, but not succeeding despite many attempts.

I sat and watched for quite some time, this very distressing scene. It appeared to me this had obviously been hit by a turbine blade, so I then hopped the fence to investigate this magnificent bird, obviously in so much pain.

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Not knowing what to do, I rang my wife and two neighbours, because if any of you know what it’s like trying to catch a Wedgie, it’s pretty difficult. I had nothing with me with which to attempt to catch it, so they brought a rag down along with something to tie its legs.

Most farmers know that the method to catch these huge, heavy birds with very sharp claws and beaks, is to tie the legs and then cover it, in particular its head, which will then calm it down. However, unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. I was bitten several times all over my hands, and scratched badly on my arms. As a result of this, the terrified bird got away from me once, but I succeeded the second time, a little worse for wear.

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Once we’d returned to the house we rang our local vet on call. By this time it was after hours and she notified a family who run a wild life shelter. We were advised to go straight to Hamilton 37 kilometres away (we’d already been to town once yesterday shopping) and take the injured wedgie straight around to the home of the family above.

Four of us did as we were instructed and took the bird in the car (once again it was severely traumatised) to Hamilton. We spent around 1.5 hours at the wild life shelter whilst those very experienced people thoroughly examined the bird, alarmed at what they saw. They examined it from top to bottom and pondered over what action to take, whether to send it to the Healesville Sanctuary, or to the vet clinic.

The bird was only young, as its feathers were a lighter colour, perhaps one of last season’s. Its feathers were particularly ruffled, indicating it had been flapping around on the ground for a long time.

It was light, in fact, VERY LIGHT in weight.

Its CROP was EMPTY, the crop being the sack on the chest where its food is collected for digestion. This meant the bird had not eaten for quite some time. Having lost so much weight indicated it had been in this condition, unable to fly or eat, for quite a while. This bird had not just been damaged by the blades a day or so ago. For its crop to be empty and it to have lost so much weight, indicated it had been left to slowly starve to death.

The decision was made for the shelter to take the bird to the vet clinic for X-rays.

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We returned home, extremely upset from our five hour ordeal seeing such a magnificent bird, one of Australia’s icons, so badly damaged and traumatised. We hoped it could be capable of recovery.

However, this morning we received a phone call informing us it had been determined that this young, beautiful bird of prey, would NEVER FLY AGAIN and it had been put to sleep.

This should NEVER have been allowed to happen. It has been reported in AGL’s own Bat and Avifauna report, that already raptors have been killed in the initial stages of operation of the 140 turbines here.

We used to have Wedge Tail Eagles nesting on our property and saw them regularly, but no more.

However, we wonder how many others are hit by the blades and left to die such a slow, miserable death in the middle of the wind farm, where nobody can see.

Our property is two kilometres from the nearest road, and the bird’s injuries were NOT CONSISTENT with a collision with a car.

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This is just a tragedy and such a disgrace.

AGL doesn’t care ….. they only collect carcasses monthly, and were advised by the very specialist they employed to compile their Bat and Avifauna report, to increase the collection to TWICE monthly, but it appears they’ve ignored this advice.

I would like FORMAL WRITTEN acknowledgement of this report from AGL, not just their usual spin.

STOP THIS CARNAGE.
Andrew Gardner

Stop this carnage, indeed.

The wind industry and its parasites have – from the outset – pitched these things as a “planet saving, clean, green and environmentally friendly technology”; which doesn’t quite gel with the wholesale slaughter of birds and bats. Let’s call it an “inconvenient truth” (see our post here).

Were anyone caught shooting eagles or other protected species they would face prosecution.

Kill a relatively common Wedge-Tailed Eagle in Australia and you’ll face 6 months imprisonment or a $10,000 fine. As the stories in these links show – when lads with a .22 do it – there is media “shock” and “outrage” at a crime deemed worthy of serious punishment.

But the operators of wind farms face no such criminal sanction or penalty – and, instead, get to slice and dice birds and bats of all shapes and sizes with impunity (see our posts here and here).

The one thing that these things can’t be accused of is “prejudice”: they’ll slaughter anything that flies by; from bats to lowly seagulls, pelicans, majestic raptors and everything in between.

With Australia’s ‘Environment’ Minister, Greg Hunt keen to do his wind industry benefactor’s bidding – whatever the economic, social and environmental cost – expect to see a whole lot more unnecessary avian carnage.

eagle at waterloo

Waterloo’s Kym Dixon & Wedge-Tailed Eagle contemplate
yet another of the LRET’s totally unjustified costs’.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Seems the new generation greenies are the nimbys if they cant see or hear them. It doesn’t really worry them. Protected wildlife or turbines that is. Unlike the old treehuggers who would have tried anything to protect wildlife or their beliefs.

  2. Keith Staff says:

    Greg Hunt and his “mates’ need to held accountable.

    Agencies are also complicit in the whole sordid mess.

    The wind industry and their cohorts, long ago stitched up agencies, as they unduly influenced many of the environmental rules/guidelines and regulations, supposedly enacted to keep this corrupt industry in check.

    Added to all of this we have the situation in Victoria of a State
    Planning Minister who is prepared just to tick for approval any new wind farm proposal landing on his desk.

    Dark leftist, political motives are at work.

    Victoria is in danger of becoming an economic basket case, just like S.A. Why aren’t people rioting in the streets?

  3. Noel Dean. says:

    If it is ever shown that people like Greg Hunt or Victorian planning ministers, Matthew Guy or Richard Wynne or others have knowingly lied or conspired to keep the truth of their departmental briefs from the community to advantage the wind industry, then they should spend time behind bars – like the corrupt Union officials exposed for that kind of misconduct by Dyson Heydon.

    But they have all clearly failed in their duty of care, by not understanding or following the recommendations of recent Federal Senate Inquiries.

    Birds are dying because of excessive noise / vibration resulting from the compression and decompression of air. Unlike Mr Hunt and wind farm promoters, including those in State, Federal,and Local Governments, these unfortunate birds have full control of their senses they can see and hear, but they CANNOT identify where the ABRUPT change in air pressure is.

    It appears to me that these birds have been trapped in the wake effect made by the turbine blades. I suspect they’ve been sucked into the path of blades by the drop in air pressure.

    Somewhere along the blade there is a sweet spot, depending on the wind speed. Either side of this sweet spot the air can be more compressed/decompressed upwind or downwind of blades; depending on wind speed and wind shear, because of the blade design.

    All this information is a legal requirement, as evidence for our noise complaint investigation report including the objective SAC assessment report, which has still not been made available. This is at odds with the advice that ACCIONA has complied to Condition 14 of the Waubra Wind Farm permit from Victorian Planning Minister Mr Wynne to the senate inquiry 2015 without evidence.

    The noise/sound air pressure variation from the compression and decompression of air and resultant wake turbulence has yet to be measured, as experienced at Waubra. This testing was requested of ACCIONA in 2010 and 2011. The planning department agreed this was to be done, independent of ACCIONA, early in 2013 but aborted in late 2013.

    I heard at this time [late 2013] ACCIONA was involved in a $6 billion plus East West tunnel development in Victoria, Matthew Guy did the dirty on us by accepting ACCIONA’s testing plan for SACs, minus the required objective measurement for SACs.

    This resulted in ACCIONA;s Facility Manager doing the testing.

    I believe the testing, if done properly, would have revealed that the bigger turbines result in larger sound air pressure differences because two different size turbines were used at Waubra. I believe the larger turbines were more troublesome and therefore more birds are likely to be harmed or killed. This of course is common sense for those who are in control of their senses, but not those who are rewarded for turning a blind eye or a deaf ear to the concerns raised by so many people who only wanted to live in their homes and farm their land.

    Therefore the extra harm from making turbines larger was avoidable as early as mid 2009.

    The people in Vic Planning have the responsibility to make this information publicly available and have failed in their responsibility for not doing so. I believe the current situation can be reversed if the media challenged the operator and the planning department to produce these testing results in the public interest. As many windfarms have been approved on the basis that ACCIONA have been honest when speaking about testing results in mid 2009, ACCIONA’s HONESTY must be challenged with gusto by the media. And if the spruiked evidence is not made available the offenders should spend time behind bars for corruption, as is the practice in other countries, and the sooner the better.

    Noel Dean.

  4. Jackie Rovensky says:

    We have yet to hear exactly what these things are doing for the good of the earth.

    Those who offer succour to this industry and the industry have never been able to provide evidence of anything good they are doing – that is if you discount filling their pockets with ‘blood’ money.

    Saving the earth is nothing to do with them, they are blind and deaf to what is going on – they just don’t care.

    That members of our Governments are willing to sell our health, environment and future to ensure prosperity for their ‘mates’ is a disgrace and the sooner they are removed from office the better.

    If Turnbull wants to make a difference he needs to take a close look at what was being achieved before he put his own needs above ours and the earth’s.

    He also needs to accept his whimpering and sucking up to the media to help him bring down an elected PM has no role to play now – he is there to represent the people NOT himself and he is there to do that by ensuring he is being advised by intelligent well rounded knowledgeable people not those with long standing bias based on historic ‘friendships’ and business dealings.

    Treating those who truly want to ensure the future of the earth and those creatures and environments who inhabit it with disdain will never ensure its safety.

    Placing emphasis on misinformed radically naïve pleadings for more dangerous, inefficient, costly industrial wind turbines is not going to do anything but destroy the environment and all that it is made up off for no reason other than filling the pockets of a greedy, grubby, sly and devious industry who is willing to do anything to promote their industry.

    The question is will he be big enough to accept he has a duty beyond himself to turn the country back around.

    At the moment unless he listens to those suffering, those with knowledge of and love of the environment he will achieve nothing except to show his lack of intelligence.

    Will he be able to see that spending all that money on an industry which does not need it will enable more to be available for industries which could make the right difference.

    We will have to anxiously await to see if he is as intelligent as we have for so long been told he is – but do we have time to wait as more of our money is directed to this desperate industry.

  5. William Gray says:

    I always find it interesting that the same ‘greens’ who are concerned with saving the planet never acknowledge the deaths of birds and bats caused by wind turbines, instead downplaying these ‘events’ by saying the need to reduce emissions is critical to avians’ survival.

    This dreadfully hypocritical approach is exactly why this whole eco-madness will ultimately fail.

    Greg Hunt has no right to issue taxpayer funds this way. If these things really worked industry would be quick to pick up on it regardless of the subsidies.

    I’ve also noticed green fanatics are never interested in a thorough debate preferring instead to denigrate and insult those not supporting their views. Again, this is why they will ultimately fail to impose their ‘world eco-view’ on the rest of the population.

    Try asking them to explain how wind and solar would power an industrialised economy and at what cost, without the support of coal or gas (hydro is good but insufficient) and the response is a mature na,na,nana na, na.

    Perhaps the power stations in this country should close down for a week or so to give them a dose of reality.

  6. Crispin Trist says:

    On one side of the Planet you have Annie and Gus trying to rescue a wounded magnificent Wedge Tail Eagle from the clutches of a gigantic non human scale man made raptor shredder! One of 140 raptor shredders at the Macarthur Wind Farm.

    And yet, on the other side of the Planet in Paris, we have the likes of Sir David Attenborough and the Pope no less speaking out in support of renewable energy at the Climate Change Summit!

    This is INSANE!!!

    How did we get to this point in history?

    Might I suggest, with all due respect, that Sir David Attenborough ceases to do the bidding of the Global Wind Industry in favour of continuing his work in Natural History and Wildlife CONSERVATION!

    Yes, “CONSERVATION”. Remember that? The word that the Global Wind Industry has tried so hard to make us forget.

    When the likes of environmental campaigner David Bellamy OBE start to see through the Wind Farm Scam, you know that there is more to this than meets the eye!

  7. What is abundantly clear is that the very people who are supposed to be protecting our native species are doing a pretty crap job.

    Where is the accountability with operators and DEWNR?, NRM, The State and Federal Environment Ministers? – the dead eagle with Kym Dixon in your photo had been dead for weeks after dying from 2 – 3 weeks of starvation according to the autopsy report.

    Why wasn’t it found by the wind farm staff when injured or when dead if they are “checking the site every day”? Because they don’t bother to check obviously!

    Excerpts from the Autopsy report by Dr Lucy Woolford, Veterinary Pathologist, School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Roseworthy Campus, The University of Adelaide, South Australia, 5371.

    “Time of death cannot be accurately determined, however, on the basis of the findings it was likely to have occurred at 2 to 4 weeks prior to when the eagle was found. ”

    “Postmortem and radiographic examinations demonstrated a distal mid shaft oblique compound fracture to the humerus, associated with bony callus formation and proliferation of granulation tissue along the skin defect margins. On the basis of macroscopic and radiographic findings, this fracture occurred two to three weeks prior to the time of death.”

    “Evidence of fracture healing (ossification) at the fracture site suggests this bird was alive for at least 2 weeks following the injury. Given these findings, starvation would have been the resultant cause of death.”

    “A wing fracture is inevitably fatal as there is total loss of ability to hunt prey. Given the above findings, starvation would have been the resultant cause of death.”

    “The possibility that the blunt trauma to the wing was caused by a collision with a vehicle and the eagle then making its way over ground for a distance of over 3.5 kilometers and 600 meters including over 100 meters of elevation to the ridge top is not plausible. ”

    “The presence of a patch of soiled and stained grass below the carcass at the time of collection is consistent with a bird lying undisturbed for several weeks during decomposition. This information combined with evidence of fracture healing of the wing prior to its death should remove any suggestion that the carcass was deliberately planted at the site by a person or persons unknown.”

    Lets face it, Wind farm operators don’t give a flying f@#k what impacts they cause.

    And for neighbours and others with a genuine concern for their local environment such complete disregard for the species we care about is frankly heartbreaking.

  8. Greed for money seems to over-rule every decent feeling. Why do we think people are more important than all the rest of the earth’s inhabitants? Instead of brain-washing schoolchildren with visits to windfarms, telling them how wonderful they are, take them when there are some casualties like this on the ground and let them and their teachers see the truth.

  9. I really wish people would start shooting at wind turbines with high powered weapons, it’s time they were brought down so they cannot continue to slaughter animals like this.

  10. Happy New Year, STT, it’s good to see you have hit the ground running for 2016.

    The pro wind, green socialist, eco loons are so concerned about climate change and the environment, they are still on holidays, whinging and moaning on social media about the possibility of losing their penalty rates on weekends, not that many of them actually work for a living!

    Thanks for the volumes of material over the last year and TCW looks forward to posting more of your great articles in 2016.

    https://www.facebook.com/The-Callous-Wind-359334027502160/

    TCW

  11. Terry Conn says:

    Greg Hunt needs to burn in hell for infinity – it’s our duty to put him there!

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