New South Wales is a hotbed of wind industry corruption, as Maurice Newman (the Business Adviser to former PM, Tony Abbott) laid plain during a recent interview with STT Champion, Alan Jones: Wind Industry Corruption in NSW: Maurice Newman Lifts the Lid
Alan is back, this time with yet more detail on just how rotten the NSW Planning Department is.
Its officers don’t just subscribe to the wind-cult, they get in there and advocate for thugs like NZ’s Trustpower (that love thumping 79 year old pensioners and disabled farmers) and Infigen (also renowned for lying to and bullying vulnerable and elderly farmers).
This time, not content with simply barracking for their wind industry mates, one of their number has been caught out re-writing what was supposed to be an ‘independent’ noise impact report put forward by the developer.
The ‘helpful edits’ were all aimed at ‘polishing’ up what was already a boiler-plate fabrication, based on utterly irrelevant noise ‘rules’ written by the wind industry. His friendly hints clearly did the job: the Planning Assessment Commission, yet again, rubber-stamped another economic and social disaster.
Here’s AJ lifting the lid with the help of fine wool grazier, Penny Hundy (audio below, transcript follows).
Alan Jones AO: Forgive me for saying this but I sometimes get the feeling that if I wasn’t here the productive base of New South Wales and Queensland would be nothing but either a giant disused mining pit or a coal seam gas field and if there was a bit of land left over, dotted with highly subsidised foreign owned wind farms.
Agriculture seems to count for nothing unless you fight tooth and nail. It is beyond belief the extent of this. A total political betrayal of agriculture. Now we’ve got another one.
Can you imagine wool producers in New South Wales – not just any wool producer, people who have won first prize in the 50th Ermenegildo Zegna Wool awards – the top gong in wool production – taken by 3rd generation wool growers, Andrew and Penny Hundy from Windradeen in the Mudgee region in New South Wales. 2 major awards.
The prestigious Vellus Aureum Trophy, no one would know anything about that, for superfine fleece – world records for the number of microns, 10.0 microns.
And then you’ve got these unelected outfits the Planning Assessment Commission. I got an email on my desk last week it said 6 words. So sad Alan, wind farm approved. And the New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission has approved this Crudine Ridge wind farm. 77 turbines. All subsidised. 160 m high. South of Mudgee.
The email was from the award-winning wool producer from Sallys Flat, Penny Hundy, to whom I have spoken previously. Penny and her husband Andrew will have turbines 2.5 km from their house. They will have full view of some of the towers and they’ll see sections of up to 30 of them. They have been told by noise consultants that you’ll have to sleep with their windows closed because the noise will drive them nuts.
We go on about refugees and asylum seekers and boat people and I we must look after them we must bring them all to the country. What about those people who are refugees in their own home because there are wind farms right on top of them?
This is a property, established by Andrew Hundy’s grandparents, in 1930. You could say, some of the best wool in the world. Its agricultural land not industrial land. Agricultural land.
And if they’re not injurious to health why not put them in Macquarie Street outside my window? Put them in Parramatta road, put them on Bondi Beach, why not? Plenty of wind there. If it is wind power but we want.
We were built on the sheep’s back. Now that’s going to rack and ruin because of a renewable energy industry which is going to bankrupt the lot of us and everything else must play 2nd fiddle.
I wrote to the Energy Minister, Josh Frydenberg about this on March 29. What’s the date today May 16. I pointed out to him that Tony Abbott had at least said that the number of wind farms to be built should be limited.
I pointed out to Josh Frydenberg, the Energy Minister, that there was a Senate inquiry into all of this and one farm couple who had been paid 1,000,000 to host 19 wind turbines over 5 years told the Senate inquiry the noise was unbearable. That was evidence that was given.
Well the New South Wales Planning and Assessment Commission, unelected, they don’t read stuff like I do, like farmers do. They’ve approved the Crudine Ridge wind farm between Mudgee and Bathurst. 77 turbines. Can you believe this?
The closest township is the historic village of Sofala. I’ve been there. This is right in the middle of Mudgee, Bathurst, Wellington, Orange. And the Department of Planning and Environment recommended that the Planning and Assessment Commission give the wind farm conditional approval.
Wait until I tell you about the Department of Planning and Environment in a moment. But I told all this to the Federal Energy Minister, unanswered. I told him about the impact on the Merino wool industry. Unanswered. Nothing. I told him, Josh Frydenberg, The Planning and Assessment Commission held a hearing at Pyramul, right in the middle of all this last February. 20 speakers spoke- noise, health impacts the lot. Ignored. Ignored. They count for nothing. I told the Federal Minister all of this. Nothing.
I’ve spoken about this over and over again. I’ve written to Rob Stokes, the Minister here and yet they don’t make decisions. Unelected outfits make the decisions.
I’ve spoken to Angus Taylor here who told me that wind turbines in his electorate, the electorate of Hume enjoy subsidies of $500 million-$1 billion a year.
Nick Xenophon, the South Australian Senator, who is going to cause damage at this election, has said over and over again, there is genuine concern that the government hasn’t followed through on promises to do independent research on the health effects of wind farms.
Well the farmers are on the line. They’re women and they fight. Penny Hundy good morning.
Penny Hundy: Good morning Alan.
Alan Jones AO: Nothing to say is there? I mean, you know? What?
Penny Hundy: We’re just shattered Alan. I don’t think at the end of the day it mattered how much effort we put into blocking this I think it was always geared towards the wind farm.
Alan Jones AO: Absolutely. You aren’t part of the renewable energy industry. You’re just agriculture and you are rubbish. You’re not second-class your 10th class. Mining first, renewable energy 2nd, coal seam gas 3rd wherever you are.
Penny Hundy: Oh we’re only the taxpayers that support these industries.
Alan Jones AO: That’s it, that’s it. And all these people spoke and yet these, 30 of these wind turbines are on top of you. Visible from your property, 160 m high, 20 metres higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Penny Hundy: That’s right and keep in mind that that is what we can see from our house. But the turbines are 2 1/2 ks away from our house. Our property extends out the back and the turbines are just over our boundary fence so on our property who knows how many we can see from the boundaries of our property.
Alan Jones AO: 53 stories, as high as 53 story building.
Penny Hundy: That’s right
Alan Jones AO: Why aren’t these on Bondi Beach, or Macquarrie Street, or Parramatta Road?
Penny Hundy: Yes, exactly if there is no problems with them,
Alan Jones AO: Yes if there’s no problems with them, then why?
Now this is the point I want to raise with you and I most probably need to talk to you again. There was a peer reviewed (listeners, listen to this – if we had an ICAC that was worth 2 bob this would be ICAC). There was a peer reviewed noise monitoring document completed for the Planning Assessment Commission – was there not?
Penny Hundy: That’s right.
Alan Jones AO: A peer reviewed document. The document was edited by a J Parnell. That’s right?
Penny Hundy: That’s right and you know we would not have known who J Parnell was I mean my husband and I went down and met with the Department of Planning 3 years ago to discuss the noise issue.
Alan Jones AO: That’s right. And that document had on it certain notes by this Parnell.
Penny Hundy: That’s right.
Alan Jones AO: Editing captions.
Penny Hundy: That’s right. Within the word function of the program, as you make editing changes, there is a bubble there, until you accept it, the evidence is left there.
Alan Jones AO: So basically the Department of Planning was the client for the report
Penny Hundy: That’s right
Alan Jones AO: And here is a bloke who works for the Department of Planning, a noise consultant, and he has edited the report which is supposed to be an independent report. He’s edited the document prior to it being released.
Penny Hundy: That’s right. So we were never going to be given a fair go.
Alan Jones AO: He has edited the document. I would have thought that involves a few ethical and integrity issues doesn’t it?
Penny Hundy: Of course.
Alan Jones AO: ICAC? Have you made any submission to ICAC?
Penny Hundy: I have not I was waiting to see how the department, not the Department of Planning, the Planning and Assessment Commission had handled my complaint and that they approved the project last week. In their approval report they did not touch on it – it wasn’t mentioned.
Alan Jones AO: No. Well the report has since been amended to remove the evidence of this Jeff Parnell editing it. Is that right?
Penny Hundy: That’s right and from the time I raised the issue back on PAC day, to the time that the PAC had approved it somehow the document had been amended and all the evidence has been gone.
Alan Jones AO: Leave it with me, leave it with me. I’ll come back to you. I’ll talk to Rob Stokes today. Thank you for your time.
Penny Hundy: Thanks Alan.
Alan Jones AO: Penny Hundy.
2GB Alan Jones Breakfast