Victoria Erupts: Furious Mob Rejects Premier Dan Andrew’s Insane Wind Power Push

The ‘noes’ have it: 500 angry Victorians reject neighbourhood nightmare.

 

Victoria’s Premier might think he’s on a winner with his gargantuan push for wind and solar in his State, but his constituents think otherwise. Last week, 500 furious Victorians gathered at Mortlake to reject another of Dan’s neighbourhood nightmares.

STT hears that the mood was as ugly as a paddock full of hundreds of Vestas V112s.

The usual waffle about locals all being in favour of renewable energy (just not in their backyards) gave way to killer points about the utter pointlessness and insane costs of heavily subsidised and completely chaotic wind power.

Plenty simply sealed their arguments with the words ‘South Australia’, which tend to leave the goons that people wind power outfits flummoxed and mumbling about mythical mega-batteries, pixies and unicorns.

Those that are in the business of pushing the case for wind power in Victoria have clearly had the best of it.

These days, the mobs that gather to oppose wind power developments are well-informed, they’re angry and they’re not about to give up.

Here’s a couple of reports on how the game has changed in the blink of an eye.

Community insulted about lack of consultation, “totally and absolutely opposed” to Mount Fyans wind farm
The Standard
Andrew Thomson
18 September 2018

A packed meeting of angry Mortlake district residents has overwhelming voted against the proposed Mount Fyans wind farm.

Almost 500 people attended the meeting on Monday night at the Mortlake Hall and supported a motion to reject the Moyne Shires’ offer to establish a community engagement committee for the proposed renewable energy source.

“Furthermore, this meeting is totally and absolutely opposed to the development of the Mount Fyans wind farm and directs the Moyne shire councillors and officers to instruct the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne to reject any application by the proponent Woolnorth for the development of the Mount Fyans wind farm at Mortlake,” the motion read.

Feelings were high at the meeting with the danger to the endangered brolgas and impact of the 200-metre tall turbines on firefighting capabilities highlighted as issues.

The meeting was chaired by Moyne shire’s Cr Jim Doukas while three other councillors and other officers attended.

Meeting organisers said Woolnorth representatives were invited to attend, but declined, despite being in the district to meet with Moyne Shire officials on Tuesday.

About 500 submissions were also gathered to present to Mr Wynne against the proposed wind farm.

Mortlake district farmer Lachie Cumming addressed the meeting in relation to the lack of public consultation and secrecy around the proposal.

He labelled it a “proposal by stealth”, and questioning the morality of the neighbour communication agreements presented to adjoining landholders.

Those at the meeting were concerned that Mr Wynne and the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) had granted Woolnorth an exemption from preparing an environment effects statement despite being in an environmentally sensitive area.

The meeting was told that was despite DEWLP finding that the reports prepared by Woolnorth were inadequate.

The proposed wind farm covers breeding and nesting sites for the Victorian brolga which is a vulnerable species with less than 600 left in the wild.

Adjacent to the proposed site is a parcel of land covered by a Trust for Nature restrictive covenant.

The proposed turbines are the biggest so far in Australia at 200 metres.

Concerns were also raised that wind farms Australia-wide had been subsidised by government to the tune of billions of dollars with many of the companies foreign owned.

Potential devaluation of both rural and urban properties by up to 40 per cent as a result of wind turbines was also discussed.

The meeting was informed about the current issues with the noise report for the Bald Hills wind farm.

Attendee Geraldine Conheady addressed the meeting about the failure of the State Government to have planning in place to include wind farms proposed throughout the south-west of Victoria.

She said there were no regulations regarding the placement or sharing of transmission lines, that no planning permits were required if the lines were under 220 kva and that lines were placed above ground as it was cheaper.

Mrs Conheady said there was no fixed plan for the decommissioning of either the transmission lines or wind turbines at the end of their lives.

Additionally, if all wind farms between Geelong and Port Fairy proceed, there will be less than 15 kilometres of land without wind turbines, the meeting heard.

Mortlake firefighter and farmer Lisa Parker addressed the meeting on the potentially life-threatening impact of the windfarms, which will reduce the capability of the Country Fire Authority to effectively fight fires from the air.

The Aerial Agricultural Association of Australia’s wind farm policy was quoted as opposing all wind farm developments in areas of agricultural production or elevated bushfire risk as a result of overwhelming safety concerns.

Comment is being sought from Moyne Shire, Mr Wynne and Woolnorth.

A DELWP spokesman said that all wind farm permit applications were thoroughly assessed, including against strict planning and environmental standards, to ensure they do not unreasonably negatively impact the area.

“This includes consideration of other wind farms approved or constructed in the area, and what the impact of any additional wind farm will have,” he said.

“All applications include public notice to ensure locals can have their say on each proposal,” he said.
The Standard

Jim Doukas: this shows total disregard for the Mortlake community.

 

Moyne ex-mayor warns of total disregard for the community
The Standard
Andrew Thomson
19 September 2018

The “pro-renewable energy state government” has been urged to consider the proposed Mount Fyans wind farm with an unbiased eye.

Moyne Shire long-serving councillor and former mayor Jim Doukas said that on environmental and planning grounds the Mount Fyans project would never be built.

It’s the fifth proposed wind farm in the Mortlake district as foreign-owned companies scramble to plug into the energy supply grid.

Almost 500 people attended a public meeting on Monday night in Mortlake with the overwhelming majority strongly opposed to the Mount Fyans project.

Cr Doukas said the community opponents had a strong case because they were crystal clear about the facts.

“It was an excellent meeting, very well done and the community needs to be congratulated for its organisation and resolve​. It was a great show of people power​,” he said.

“This state Labor government is pushing wind farms and renewables as hard as they can with a total disregard for the community​.

“You’ve only got to go to a panel hearing to see how bad it is.”

Cr Doukas said he thought the Moyne Shire would support the community, but he could not speak for other councillors.

“A permit application has been lodged. The government will send everyone a note and council will organise a meeting,” he said

“We (council) will speak to people and make a submission.”

The veteran councillor said the company behind the proposal, 75 per cent Chinese-owned Woolnorth, claimed there was only 50 houses within three kilometres of the proposed wind farm.

“I suppose that compared to China we’re very different and we’re classed as very rural,” he said.

“I suppose Woolnorth has a fair bit on their side, but if the government did their job properly it just wouldn’t get built.

“There are lots of environmental concerns. You have the endangered brolgas, as well as eagles and raptors. There are issues about firefighting and planning. Really, you just shouldn’t be able to build it.”

Cr Doukas said there were other far more remote areas in the state, such as the Wimmera, where wind farms wouldn’t annoy anyone.

“​The people who know about wind farms​ say that without subsidies​ wind farms just wouldn’t operate​,” he said.

“There are certainly ​other alternatives​. Once they’re up wind farms are hard to turn off or pull down​ and even if they can​’​t operate ​within the ​noise guidelines, nothing happens​.”

C​r Doukas said the community deserved to be heard.​

“If Mount Fyans gets built the ramifications are enormous. I would hate to predict what would happen next,” he said.

A Moyne Shire spokesman said councillors and the acting chief executive officer Kevin Leddin attended the Mortlake meeting.

There will be a formal report to next Tuesday’s council meeting.

Council representatives met with officials from Woolnorth on Tuesday and the company confirmed it had lodged a planning permit application with the Minister for Planning Richard Wynne.

Mayor Mick Wolfe said councillors were listening.

“Council has heard residents’ concerns loud and clear regarding this proposal,” he said.

“We have a responsibility here to represent our communities. The cumulative impact of multiple wind farms in close proximity to Mortlake has caused a tipping point.

“It follows on from recent concerns and strong advocacy to the state government by council on the lack of planning and regulation regarding transmission lines.,” he said.

A spokeswoman for state Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the renewable energy industry was supporting more than 2300 jobs and delivering affordable, reliable energy for Victorian households and businesses.

“All wind farm permit applications are thoroughly assessed against strict planning and environmental standards to ensure they do not unreasonably negatively impact the area,” she said.

“We’ve overturned Matthew Guy’s dodgy planning laws that almost killed Victoria’s wind industry,” she said.

The spokeswoman said all wind farm permit applications went through thorough assessments included consideration of other wind farms approved or constructed in the area, and of the impact of additional wind farms.

She said all applications included public notice to ensure locals could have their say on each proposal.

Woolnorth has also again been contacted for comment.
The Standard

Here’s a plaintiff Dominica Tannock prepared earlier: Don Fairbrother.

 

Local councils in Victoria, as well as its Planning Department, are still reeling from the fallout of the litigation that’s broken out over the public health debacle at Bald Hills, in South Gippsland.

A group of 10 plaintiffs issued Supreme Court proceedings against the South Gippsland Council, forcing it to do its duty under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act and remedy the nuisance caused by wind turbines to the long-suffering community situated around the Bald Hills: Victorian Vengeance: Neighbours Launch $Multi-Million Noise Nuisance Law Suit Against Wind Farm Operator & Local Council

The South Gippsland Council hired an independent investigator who found that the noise generated by 52, 2MW Senvion MM92 turbines was “injurious to personal comfort” and, therefore, a nuisance under the Act: Farmers Fightback: Investigator’s Noise Nuisance Finding Leaves Australian Wind Industry Furious

The South Gippsland Council is ducking and weaving, but the plaintiffs and their determined solicitor, Dominica Tannock are going all the way. The plaintiffs have engaged a junior barrister as well as one of Melbourne’s top QCs.

After what’s transpired at Bald Hills, every local Council in Victoria is aware that it faces liability in the $millions, wherever wind turbines are operating in proximity to their ratepayers.

Councils, developers and their cronies are all furious at the prospect of the law being used to benefit their victims.

STT hears that the good people of Mortlake have lined up Dominica Tannock and are ready, willing and able to fight like fury. Let the battle for Mortlake begin.

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. In relation to the comment by a DELWP spokesman saying that all wind farm applications were thoroughly assessed, including against state planning laws and environmental standards to ensure they do not unreasonably negatively impact the area.

    These assertions cannot be substantiated until the noise predictions are assessed against the noise limits that people complain about are not being met only after the wind farm becomes operational.

    There is no independent assessment of the manufacturer’s sound power estimates for its turbines prior to planning hearings. Developers provide their own draft permit noise conditions prior to hearings and any alterations are made within days of the hearing, without any consideration of expert evidence. It is a requirement of the so-called independent hearing that any difference of evidence given by expert witnesses be resolved independent of the operator. This does not happen.

    The planning hearing process is required to be independent of the operator’s own process. And yet the developer’s lawyer cross examines witnesses when this is the responsibility of the chair person and or panel members. This is a blatant abuse of power to gain an advantage. At the recent Golden Plains hearing, the order of expert witnesses was changed so that the developer’s expert presentation was placed after an independent witness gave evidence. This is cheating and the chair person, being a lawyer, would surely have known this.

    At hearings there is no independent complaint handling process considered during the hearing, as this is done by the developer after turbines start operating.

    Also at hearings there is no independent noise monitoring program considered during the planning hearing process. This was done after the operation of turbines had started, without the satisfaction of the minister for planning being obtained, more than after two years of operation at the Waubra wind farm. It could never be claimed to be independent, because Acciona collected the data with their own staff. The SAC assessment was only done by the wind farms’ facilitator/manager when turbines were not operational.

    Relevant noise limits are not stated clearly in planning permits as a false descriptor is being used. The present process requires a period of 18 months before complaints are assessed. This I consider is a blatant abuse of human rights. For us it is nearly 10 years and still no evidence, even though it is legally required. Wind farm developments are a civil matter that requires factual evidence, but there is none.

    I wonder how many people would be prepared to be part of a class action against the Victorian planning department, for abuse of human rights? For not providing clear evidence that sound pressure levels, when measured and assessed to satisfy the complainant’s expectations, are within the noise limit set for wind farms that is consistent with the standard required to be met. That is, IEC61400 noise standards referenced in MDA post construction reports in plain English that a lay person can understand?

    Noel Dean

  2. Just to put into context the following attachment are the relevant minutes of the council meeting:
    10. Mt Fyans Wind Farm, Establishment of Community Engagement Committee
    Report Summary: The proponent for the Mt Fyans Wind Farm is Woolnorth Wind Farm Holding Pty Ltd. The project is in the pre-application stage, with the proponent proposing to lodge a permit application with the Minister for Planning in the coming weeks. The establishment of a Community Engagement Committee now will assist the community engagement process between the proponent, community, Council and other stakeholders regarding this project.
    Cr Ryan moved, Cr Meade seconded that Council establish the Mt Fyans Wind Farm Community Engagement Committee, comprising:
    a) Three Moyne Shire Councillors.
    b) Up to six community representatives, via an expression of interest process
    c) Two Woolnorth Wind Farm Holding Pty Ltd representatives.
    Motion carried 7:0

  3. “A spokeswoman for state Planning Minister Richard Wynne said the renewable energy industry was supporting more than 2300 jobs and delivering affordable, reliable energy for Victorian households and businesses.”

    …affordable? NO!
    …reliable? NO!

    These people should called out as the liars that they are.

    I want and demand to be able to turn my power on anytime, 24/7.
    Renewable energy without storage cannot do that.
    AND, renewable energy WITH storage is far too expensive to even think about going down that path.

  4. BoyfromTottenham says:

    See here for a recent article in the Irish Engineers Journal debunking the use of traditional ‘sound level meters’ for measuring the actual levels of ‘infrasound’ (that is, inaudible frequencies that are below the ear’s hearing range, as distinct from ‘audible sound’) generated by wind turbines, and their potential for negative health effects on nearby residents. http://www.engineersjournal.ie/2018/01/23/ilfn-infrasound-low-frequency-noise-turbine-health/
    An inspection of the EPA guidelines (of virtually any Western country) for measuring wind farm noise levels shows that they specify the use of ‘sound level meters’ set in the ‘A weighting’ mode, which guarantees that the measurement will always show ‘safe’ noise levels because such devices in this mode are designed to attenuate noise in the ‘infrasound’ range by an enormous amount, on the basis that infrasound is ‘outside the range of normal human hearing’ and should NOT be included in the measurement. But infrasound does not have to be ‘heard’ to cause ill effects in humans.

  5. The wind industry are trying to drive rural communities into regional centres like Ballarat and Geelong, or even Melbourne. People will be replaced by wind farms and feed lots. This is the destruction of rural life in Australia as we know it.

    It must be stopped!

    I sat next to a senior planner at the recent Hawkesdale meeting and everything he said to me indicated that this master plan was well and truly under way.

    Well done to Mortlake for standing up to this despicable industry. The red voting cards were a very clever move.

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