Victoria’s Western Front Erupts: Locals Launch All-Out Attack On Hawkesdale Wind Farm Plans

Nothing generates fury and anger amongst rural communities like a wind farm. Hated for their lies, detested for their corrupt connections to those in power and despised for the contempt they dish out to wind farm neighbours, those that people wind power outfits have earned a reputation right up there with paedophiles and insurance salesman.

A decade ago, these characters could turn up at one of their so-called ‘community consultations’ and expect a cool, but polite hearing.

These days, thanks to sites like STT, they’re lucky to make it out of town with their limbs intact.

Country folk might be polite, but they’re not stupid. And they do not like being taken for fools.

What’s played out in Victoria is nothing short of diabolical.

Corrupt and pliant MPs, local governments and regulators have conspired to ruin communities like Waubra, Cape Bridgewater, and Macarthur.

The rules that apply to industrial noise sources to protect neighbours from excessive noise, are suspended because wind farm operators are purportedly ‘saving the planet’.

The Planning Department happily rubber-stamps faked noise reports and Local Councils continue to duck and weave their Statutory responsibility to protect their constituents from excessive noise.

All these matters are well-known to Victorians.

Hence the angry mob that confronted a group paid handsomely to run interference and propaganda for the wind industry; a group headed up by the obsequious but equally disingenuous Wind Farm Commissioner, Andrew Dyer.

Hostile reception at Hawkesdale wind farm meeting
The Spectator – Greater Hamilton
Tara Fry
7 July 2018

A community meeting at Hawkesdale on Wednesday concerning wind farm growth in the south-west, left local MPs, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) representatives and the national windfarm commissioner in no doubt as to the position of the majority of locals.

The meeting, organised by community members, invited DEWLP members and windfarm commissioner, Andrew Dyer, to town to address community concerns about the planning and application processes for proposed windfarms in the region. The vocal room of around 100 people projected their questions to the panel, which included Mr Dyer, DELWP Executive Director statutory planning services, Jane Homewood and senior planner, Tim Doolan.

“You’ve heard these people today, everything is negative, you should get that from the feel of the meeting,” one attendee said, followed by a large round of applause, showing the panel the united belief of those in the room.

“Nobody wants you here … Go away.”

People travelled from around the region to express concerns and ensure the health, agriculture and social impacts of wind towers was clearly understood.

Mr Doolan began the evening with a presentation on the planning process for windfarm approval.

He explained that windfarm applications had to meet a number of requirements, including a noise assessment, landscape and visual impact assessment, safety, environmental impacts, traffic and road infrastructure impacts, electromagnetic interference and shutter flicker.

“These are all the different types of technical reports that need to be provided for any application for a windfarm” Mr Doolan said.

The senior planner said there were three stages of the windfarm approval process; the application stage, post-approval and amendment.

He said all wind turbines needed to comply with a noise limit of 40-decibels and could not be erected less than 1 km of any dwelling.

Turbines within this range needed consent. If consent was not given, the application was prohibited.

Local residents were advised that the town boundary is not a consideration during planning stages, but that the nearest turbine, which in Hawkesdale will sit around 1 km from the nearest dwelling, was enough to meet Victorian requirements.

Mr Dyer quashed any thought, risen by Penshurst District Pharma and windfarm opponent, Annie Gardner, That There Was a Bill in Parliament’s Upper House to Remove Noise Nuisance under the Victorian Public Health and Well-Being Act.

“The act is an act of Parliament, I don’t think councils had thought about how to make a complaint under the health and well-being act,” Mr Dyer said.

“The act is still there, you can make a complaint this afternoon under the act and Council needs a procedure in place to receive an address that complaint properly.”

Ms Gardner said that she had experienced a number of health issues as a result of the Macarthur windfarm which neighbours her property, and asked the Commissioner to consider low-frequency noise and infrasound when having an acoustician measure turbine noise.

“In the guidelines there is nothing about low-frequency noise or infrasound and this is what is affecting most of us in the sense we are sensitised when we go away from home,” Ms Gardner said. “When we go into a café with air-conditioning or supermarket, our symptoms come back because the issue is cumulative. The low-frequency noise is what we feel in our chest and in our hearts.”

When questioned why the compulsory distance of turbines from dwellings has changed from 2 km to 1 km when the Andrew’s Labor government was elected in 2014, no panel member could provide a satisfactory answer.

“I don’t know why it was changed from 2 to 1 km, but there is a noise decibel level that is based on the New Zealand standard and I’m hearing that it is totally inadequate for you, so we will take that on notice,” Ms Homewood said.

One Cape Bridgewater resident, who lives within 640 m of wind turbines told the Commissioner she was “living a life of misery” as her house was now worthless, to which the Commissioner advised her to move out.

The Cape Bridgewater windfarm was erected before any minimal distance between dwellings was enforced in 2011.

Hawkesdale resident, Liana Blake, told the room the proposed Hawkesdale windfarm would allow for wind towers to be built within 2 km of her house, the closest at 1.1 km.

“That’s our home, that’s where we decided to live and build our business,” she said.

“What are we going to do? Do we just move out because the noise is too much for us?

“You’ve wrecked our lives … these windfarms are wrecking people’s lives.”

Residents also raise concerned about the future growth of the Hawkesdale community, believing windfarms would deter people from moving to the area, “unfortunately, the panels look for evidence and that is difficult if you’ve got a new windfarm,” Ms Homewood told the room.

“It is a requirement of the panel to consider the social and economic impact of the windfarm, when they are considering whether or not the windfarm will go ahead.”

Mr Dyer agreed there were flaws in the windfarm governing system but said some positive steps had been taken to ensure all windfarms met Victorian standards with a different, Environmental Protection Authority accredited auditor employed to assess each stage of a windfarm application.

“When we piloted this program in Victoria recently, we found that 19 wind turbines were not compliant,” Mr Dyer said. “The proponent has to then remove the turbine or curtail them.”
The Spectator – Greater Hamilton

The reference to the “Cape Bridgewater resident, who lives within 640 m of wind turbines” is a reference to the long-suffering, Sonia Trist (pictured above).

What Sonia has had to suffer is detailed here: Federal Government’s Mandatory RET pays Pac Hydro to Steal Sonia Trist’s Home

When Sonia told the crowd that Cape Bridgewater’s wind turbines have left her “living a life of misery” and that her house was now worthless, Andrew Dyer the Wind Farm Commissioner simply told her to move out.

No mention of compensation; no mention of redress against Pacific Hydro, the crowd that has made this woman’s life a living hell. Not even a word of feigned consolation.

Sonia retorted that Dyer’s “contract shouldn’t have been renewed”. He should have never got the job in the first place.

STT’s Victorian operatives tell us that there were plenty of beefy farmers in the back of the hall that were ready to sling him up.

The man’s brazen contempt for his fellow countrymen might signal some kind of mental disorder. Expressing it in front of an angry mob suggests a man with a death wish. The crowd properly regarded Dyer as a disgrace. His lack of courtesy and consideration for those he’s paid to protect is the product of his partisanship. If anyone at that meeting entertained the belief that Dyer had their interests at heart, his open disdain for Sonia Trist soon crushed that.

Wiser for the experience, the rural folk from Victoria’s Western Districts are unlikely to be burnt twice. This is War. And they know it.

We will fight them in the fields and shall never surrender.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Corrupt and pliant MPs, local governments and regulators have conspired to ruin communities like Waubra, Cape Bridgewater, and Macarthur and let’s not forget the shit they left behind in South Australia. Like my home town of Waterloo, can’t live in it can’t rent it can’t sell it, had to get out before it would kill us.

  2. Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    “WHEN Sonia told the crowd that Cape Bridgewater’s wind turbines have left her “living a life of misery” and that her house was now worthless, Andrew Dyer the Wind Farm Commissioner simply told her to move out.”

    WINDMILL A-HOLES! Fight back Western Vic and use Andrew Dyer’s deplorable, inhuman and insulting response to Sonia Trist’s plight as all the evidence you need to fight the globalist wind-pigs who don’t give a damn about you or your beautiful communities. All they care about is their corporate deals under the corrupt guise of “Saving The Planet blah, blah, blah…”

    • A lawyer told me years ago that if people leave their homes, they’re doing exactly what the wind companies and the government, who ushered in the demise of rural communities, want them to do.
      Forced relocation is not acceptable.
      In Canada, the same Federal Liberal government that is apologizing for forced relocation of Indigenous people in our country’s shameful history, have been wilfully ignoring forced relocation as it is happening to rural people seeking protection from wind turbines.
      Under the new government in Ontario, great progress is being made already as they cancel wind projects during their first weeks in office.

  3. Jackie Rovensky says:

    I wholeheartedly agree its time for the rural and regional people across the Grid to unite and let not only the companies, but the Governments at all levels and the NATIONAL media know enough is enough.
    If these things actually provided what they have been touted as providing these companies etc may be able to keep the ‘love’ of city dwellers, but as they fail miserably to do so then even those not living with the hell these turbines produce, will come to realise they too have to join with their fellow Australians and stop this nightmare.
    After all all those Grey Nomads and 4×4 adventurers now have more than a minimal chance of having to drive through or ‘camp’ near them – just how are they going to enjoy their holidays if they are affected. How many times will they suffer before the word gets out those areas are not conducive to a pleasant holiday or tourist visit.
    I know from recent personal experience just driving near by a group of these horror towers (Hornsdale SA) without realising I was so close to them. I begin to ‘feel’ them with head pains as if I could have been having a stroke, and a feeling of pressure in the chest and bloating which could be symptoms of a heart-attack, which only stopped after I left the impact area of the turbines. For those who live with them their lives are hell on earth and its time the NATIONAL media began to have their interest tickled into action to report on ALL examples of distress and opposition across the Grid.
    The Governments, companies and their ‘love-in’ idiots as well as Dyer the ‘Commission for promotion and protection’ of the Industry have no interest in the rights of the people of this country.

    • Jackie Rovensky says:

      Whats needed is for all groups to come together on the same day and demonstrate in their own areas across the Grid.
      Standing up for themselves and their fellow potential and current sufferers.
      They could block entry to towns on main roads handing out information flyers with the facts of these things and then letting people pass. Perhaps offering a place to stop for a cuppa and maybe the opportunity to sign a petition or list of support for the people fighting against the injustice being experienced.
      Maybe others could get rally’s organized in city’s on the same day for those living their, again with information flyers handed out.
      If there is a single day of demonstration across the Grid it would be difficult for the Media not to report on the situation as not being a localised problem but one existing across a vast area of this Nation. That these things are impacting people everywhere not just one or two as the Companies and its supporters say and would have people believe.
      It is not an isolated problem and its time it was stated that way in the media and recognised by Governments.

  4. yonason says:

    Those folks have every right to oppose the monumentally disastrously harmful scam that wind farms represent.

    It is so wrong on so many levels.

    I wish them success at stopping it!

  5. These issues are being faced by individuals and communities around the country.

    It is time for a united front. The realities of the wind industry need to be exposed. Despite significant penetration of wind energy in SA, and the excessive power bills which accompany that penetration, our state is frequently powered by gas because the wind isn’t blowing! Communities are being bullied and their very real concens about a raft of issues relating to industrial turbine developments, disregarded.

  6. Come to Mount Mercer and learn what our life has become. For me the noise and vibration and lack or poor sleep is destroying my life and our family. The panel meetings are a joke, an insult to our intelligence

    • Noel Dean says:

      The Panel Hearings are NOT INDEPENDENT.

      Planning permit conditions are requested from the developer by the planning department. For every windfarm there almost certainly a different lot of noise conditions.

      At Mount Mercer the pressure change is a lot greater than at the Waubra Wind Farm, when I drove past there after it started operating. We used to operate our farm at Woodburn Creek along to Boundary Road, past the goat farm where the goats had health issues. Over 2 years ago my wife and I suffered from exposure from the turbines operating, which was about 5 km away. For some time prior to the event when, both my wife and I ill with pain in the head. About 2 days later I took my wife to hospital for suspected stroke. After examination of the brain, a brain bleed was identified. The doctor could not identify the cause.

      After knowing the conduct and running of planning hearings I am very well aware of the corrupt conduct at these suppose to be independent hearings.

      At one hearing it was said that the panel is paid by the developer. I expect there would be a clause that a permit is provided or there be no payment. This is not independent of the process.

      In the permit there is provision for the developer to provide a complaint investigation procedure. In the Operational Environmental Management Plan stage 2, there is also a noise monitoring plan which was to be a program. I guess it was called a plan, so as they could plan to cheat and that is what they have done at the Waubra Wind Farm.

      It was also said that intimidation at planning hearings is forbidden. This only applies to the public, even though the hearings are required to independent, the developer interrogates expert witnesses, this not a proper complaint handling process. The developer should be interrogated to resolve the difference of evidence and not abuse expert witnesses.

      On one occasion Freehills Lawyer told an expert witness to go home and come back in three weeks, in a raised angry voice. This type of conduct is allowed, this conduct continues after the hearing. Verbal abuse and withholding information is ACCIONA’s playbook, and then it claims there is no evidence. The reason there is no evidence is that the developer and the planning department are in other’s pockets.

      No complaints process is independent of the Developer. In some cases like ours there is no evidence at all. Acciona changed things to corrupt the system.

      ACCIONA changed the noise conditions to or at a nearby location, moved one kilometre or more away, when the standard is 10 to 20 mts from a dwelling.

      Acciona have claimed compliance publicly, at the same time when the Planning Min is saying to ACCIONA he is not satisfied compliance has been met.

      Acciona has said that low frequency noise levels were the same at our property as any other rural property, whether turbines are present or not, without any evidence. They say this in their own newsletters.

      ACCIONA’s Melanie Robertson said in the 2013 newsletter, discussing the October site report, health and safety accreditation has been maintained. This was at a time when ACCIONA and the PLANNING department were planning a SACs assessment, which is assessment for low frequency noise that is heard. Which more than likely consists of measured high frequency sound, like that that startles a dog if measured objectively, but ACCIONA refused to co-operate with that. The planning department caved in – no objective evidence exists for WAUBRA.

      The planning department needs to be challenged in Court for allowing the developers to CHEAT. I believe until criminal charges are laid, progress will be slow and painful for many people. I believe people should not tough it out. Life is too short, without making it shorter. I have been diagnosed as having a abnormal loss of brain mass. So it looks like a shortened life for me. .

      Good Luck going forward Jenny

      Noel Dean

  7. I can tell you l was straight up front with the project manager here. He said he couldn’t be sure if his turbines, that he admitted were of the noisier variety, would make my home an unpleasant place to live. After that comment I simply said if you f#!k my family up you had better believe I’m coming to f#!k yours.

    He knew I was serious when I quoted his address ..

  8. Terry Conn says:

    In reference to the comment made by Dyer to Sonia Trist – where is the Human Rights Commissioner now? The double standards enacted by these people who are supposed to protect us is exactly why civil wars break out and civil disobedience becomes the norm – the tragedies surrounding wind farms just keep on coming and coming, when will Australia wake up to this reality regarding this worthless technology and ban the lot of them.

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