Mortal Combat: Rural Communities Rally to Defeat Wind Industry’s Steamroller Strategy

Nothing invokes rage and fury in rural communities like a wind farm comprising dozens and sometimes hundreds of 300 tonne, 200-270m high industrial monstrosities.

Western Victoria has been overrun with these things; once peaceful pastoral properties are encircled by them, and drowned in a cacophony of thumping, grinding low-frequency turbine noise.

The wind industry and its pet acoustic consultants have worked for the best part of 30 years to ensure that the noise impacts from wind turbines are never measured: Three Decades of Wind Industry Deception: A Chronology of a Global Conspiracy of Silence and Subterfuge

Those in communities like Cullerin and Gullen Range in NSW, Macarthur, Waubra and Cape Bridgewater in Victoria and Waterloo in South Australia are acutely aware of the games played by the pet acoustic consultants employed by the wind industry.

The usual suspects, Sonus, AECOM and Marshall Day engage in the same routine shenanigans which result, and always result, in assertions that the noise driving neighbours nuts complies with the utterly irrelevant ‘rules’ written by, you guessed it, the very same acoustic consultants that pretend to ‘enforce’ them (see our post here).

No wonder these communities are demanding their own independent acoustic consultants carry out pre-construction testing, in an effort to prove non-compliance with those bogus standards, later on.

Ryan’s Corner wind farm residents hear experiences from other turbine communities
The Standard
Kimberley Price
10 February 2021

Guest speaker Pat Gabb, who lives close to the Stockyard Hill wind farm near Ballarat, spoke at the Ryan’s Corner community meeting.

Orford, Port Fairy and Yambuk residents who live near the upcoming Ryan Corner wind farm have heard stories and gathered advice from residents who have lived near operational wind farms.

A key issue guest speakers Pat Gabb and Dave Sweatman said was the need to hire an independent acoustician to complete a noise assessment before the installation of the 4.2 kilowatt wind turbines.

About 15 members of the community have already spent over $2400 to get the background noise tests with more expressing interest after the meeting.

Mrs Gabb, who lives close to the Stockyard Hill wind farm near Ballarat said the independent testing was the best insurance residents could get against the possible future noise disturbances caused by the turbines.

“If there’s a noise problem, no one can dispute this test,” she said.

Global Power Generation’s $359,000,000 218 megawatt Ryan Corner wind farm is set for construction and will span a 52-turbine encompassing the areas from Yambuk, Toolong, Orford and the edge of Port Fairy.

Community members said the more people who could undertake an independent acoustician assessment meant there would be more leverage for residents in the event of noise problems once the turbines were installed. The group also said the data could help with keeping property values fair.

Moyne Shire councillors Jordan Lockett, Karen Foster, Damien Gleeson and Jim Doukas were present at the community consultation.

In their December meeting, councillors narrowly voted 4-3 to contract their own acoustician after Hawkesdale residents pushed for noise tests by developer Global Power Generation (GPG) be independently verified.

Sharing their experience.
Throughout the evening, guest speakers from communities who had wind turbines installed across their landscape spoke about the effects on their lives.

Mrs Gabb has spent 16 years fighting the installation of turbines across western Victoria and gave advice on how residents could stay on top of the technical issues.

“We will not be able to live in our fifth generation home,” she said. “My sons work on the farm and I’m not sure if they can continue. We thought the wind turbines were going to be great, but then we started hearing things and we started questioning.”

Mr Sweatman said the wind farms had destroyed his Dundonnell community.

“We’ve lost four families from our region because of the wind farms, it’s decimated our community,” he said.

“We are given all this money to spend for our community but there isn’t one. We have two drivers of our firetrucks and if one’s away, only one can go out.

Macarthur resident Sharon Muldoon said her community was naive on the implications of wind farms, having been the first in the state to live in close proximity to turbines.

“Hindsight is a wonderful thing,” she said. “When they first started, it sounded like a jumbo jet was over the top of us when the wind was blowing in our direction.

“One of the families bought their newborn twins home to the farm and the babies couldn’t settle. They went away and the babies were fine so they sold their property and left. They steamrolled us. Looking back, if only we knew and if only we had the power to do something.”
The Standard

About stopthesethings

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

Comments

  1. Here is what is happening in Massachusetts, USA.
    https://windwisema.org/2021/02/18/noise-tests-designed-to-miss-the-mark/

  2. Jacqueline Rovensky says:

    State Governments are complicit with the so called ‘renewable’ industry. No matter which State these companies have managed to take control of Government regulations. Leaving the citizens of each State to face the onslaught of land, environment and soul destroying installation of these turbines.
    No matter how much evidence of the dangers is provided they still manage to deaden the minds of those who are there to serve us NOT an industry which does nothing positive for the environment, the people, industry or even the financial life of the country.
    These turbines have been installed in ever increasing size and numbers for so many years if it was any other industry with such a record of failure it would be declared Bankrupt – and yes they possibly are bankrupt if it wasn’t for OUR taxes being paid to them instead of being used for services such as hospitals, education, roads, pensioners or even the unemployed.
    The manner in which they have taken control should be seen as a ‘take-over’ of our freedoms – political and social.
    How could ANY elected Government be so stupid as to allow this destruction of our way of life, environment, health and future to continue when there is NO EVIDENCE these turbines have been or will be able to service OUR NEEDS now or into the future without continued financial and regulatory assistance at the detriment of the people they are meant to serve.

    • Peter Pronczak says:

      So-called developed countries have compulsory education that teaches us as a visual species, to read with subvocalisation. At an average reading speed of 150-250 words per minute, also affecting memory retention (compounding by digital tech reliance), this limits reading to speaking speed. Politicians & teachers at all levels, have been subjected to the same compounding, downhill, degrading learning system, so they are no different to any other systemised person.
      It is not taught as to why education is compulsory. Literate society tend to believe the written word, with the degradation effect present in all public institutions that have historically subjected everything to the demands of private finance.

      Hopefully others can understand the idiocy of RE will not disappear by current political decision, unless, sufficient pressure is brought to bear by the media, teachers, community leaders, etc., to get enough citizens to wake up to what they have been subjected to.

      The 5 billion years of weathering is ignored just as water displacement is treated as being a theory.

  3. In Ontario the Green Energy Act was orchestrated in 2009. In order to remove the democratic rights of rural residents, 20 statutes were amended to enable the wind industry’s incursion. Rural residents did not consent to this incursion and especially to being harmed by trespassing acoustic emissions and yet they had no recourse.

    Ontario’s Green Energy Policy vs. Social Justice

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/348839527_Ontario's_Green_Energy_Policy_vs_Social_Justice/link/6012b80345851517ef1f4e01/download

    “The centrepiece of the Premier’s ambitious plan was the GEA. Passed in 2009, the GEA was comprised of 65 pages of clauses amending 20 statutes of general application including the Municipal Act, the Ontario Heritage Act, the Planning Act, the Public Lands Act, the Electricity Act and the Environmental Bill of Rights Act (Green Energy and Green Economy Act. Acts Affected, 2009b; McRobert et al., 2016; Ontario Hansard 25 Feb 2009). Other statutes such as the Endangered Species Act were subsequently amended, and extended the reach of the GEA even further. The resulting policy changes enabled wind turbine facilities to be installed across rural Ontario in contravention of municipal by-laws, official plans and property assessment rights and most fundamentally, in contravention of the duty of care the government owes to the public to address health and safety concerns.”

    Twelve years later, the current government still cannot figure out how to protect the citizens they’re mandated to protect. The distress and disruption continues.

  4. The filmmaker Laura Israel exposed many of the issues now facing the residents of Orford, Yambuk and Port Fairy, in her brilliant film WINDFALL. The film was released in 2010 and was shot in Meredith New York.

    What have we learned in the intervening 10-11 years? In the case of Ryan Corner, seemingly not a lot. If we had begun to construct a nuclear power station back in 2010, it could now have been up and running, negating the need for the Ryan Corner wind farm, and thereby protecting this beautiful part of Victoria. The State has wasted the past decade in some bizarre social experiment on its citizens with this unreliable, decentralised, weather dependent ‘so called’ energy generation system.

    In my opinion, we are now a decade behind where we could have been in this effort to reduce emissions. For example, if a nuclear power station were up and running now, the Portland aluminium smelter could have been in discussions to expand production and build new facilities, instead of being paid NOT to produce, and to limit production during periods of high electricity demand! Wind energy has seen regional lives turned upside down; so much visual destruction in the landscape, and people driven out of their homes in a staged government societal death spiral.

    And for what?

    This is maniacal.

  5. The Dean Report explained how human rights were being abused.

    Pat Gabb is doing what I have been doing for more than 10 years. I think it is about time people looked at why, how and who is responsible for governments not caring to protect people’s right to live in their own homes and farm their land.

    Over the last decade, I have presented information as to how our rights are being abused at wind farm hearings. I believe it is not the lack of knowledge by the planning departments that is causing the disruption to many people lives. Some of my friends have taken their lives, some have had strokes that I believe was from exposure to excessive noise/vibration – as in wake/turbulence conditions at wind farms.

    I believe there is a massive amount of money involved in what can only be classified as very serious crimes to obtain many hundreds of millions of dollars from the commonwealth via money laundering practices; involving people like our local councillor to that of a former prime minister who appointed the National Wind Farm Commissioner to facilitate free passage of wind farm developments that favoured his son Alex.

    My information is that the Cherry Tree wind farm was sold after getting the planning permit. Simon Chapman and Infigen misrepresented my senate submission to make it appear that I had an accident and a head injury (which was not true and did not appear in my submission); a deliberate misrepresentation used to discredit my character prior to the final stage of the Cherry Tree Hearing.

    I found out that the wind farm was sold for about 6 million dollars. What was the big deal when Alex had spent millions buying Infigen shares. It turned out that Infigen is to operate the Cherry Tree wind farm. That looks like Alex Turnbull will end up being financially rewarded for the life of the wind farm and the Turnbull family will recoup the losses that Malcolm suffered in the Babcock and Brown Collapse.

    The final stage of the Cherry Tree Hearing was solely about health effects from turbine operation. At this part of the hearing Infigen and its ‘experts’ argued that sleep deprivation was not an adverse health effect. Many people from wind farm areas who can not sleep are very often referred to sleep experts and hooked up to machines to test their sleep. Why would this be so, if lack of sleep or people not breathing properly to get sufficient oxygen into their lungs wasn’t an issue? I had been advised that a person who had a stroke was said to be suffering from a lack of oxygen in their blood. This lack of oxygen in the blood blood is most likely from anxiety or asthma symptoms. People need to get away from turbines to sleep better, get oxygen back into their blood and enjoyment back into their lives.

    The only way to stop the pain and suffering – apart from people leaving wind farm areas – is to make those involved in this transfer of wealth under false pretences made accountable for their actions. There surely must be a Royal Commission to identify how wind farm developers gain federal government funds, without resolving noise/sound/air pressure complaints. This is the only way compliance to noise related issues will ever be resolved. The lack of evidence as the excuse is fraudulent; as evidence is required for compliance but there is none. Even though a requirement of their permits, and a requirement of the NWFC to resolve complaints, this is a job for the courageous -not cowards who are frightened of the truth.

    A Royal Commission into Wind Farm Money Laundering is URGENTLY needed. Subsidies paid despite non-compliance with planning permits must be repaid to the Commonwealth. What’s happening here is like getting a car registered without presenting a road worthy certificate.

    There should be a compliance certificate identifying all complaints needing to be rectified, being signed off to the satisfaction of complainants, by the complainants on an monthly basis. Otherwise, no RECs should be transferred to wind farm owners.

    GET ON WITH IT. For me, and hundreds of others, it is already more than decade too late.

    Yours Sincerely, Noel Dean

    • The turbines need to be turned off until Royal Commission in every country are completed and their is solid evidence that no one will be harmed if they’re ever turned back on.
      Having people continue to endure the harm while a Royal Commission is occurring would be unethical.

  6. People need to know that no-one can stop this roll-out, particularly where GPG and Goldwind are involved. Both developers overcome what any sensible person would think impossible.
    Gullen Range achieved this countering NSW Planning Dept recommendations to the then NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC), which recommendations were adopted by the PAC. BUT, a new PAC panel was appointed and Goldwind overturned the previous PAC panel’s decision. An eminent architect on the first panel walked away from the process (can’t blame him).
    Similar story with Crookwell 3. This involved GPG. Ring a bell? The NSW Planning Dept recommended to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC – replaced discredited PAC) to refuse the developer which the IPC did. Again, after GPG appealed the decision, in mediation between the IPC and GPG, the IPC bent over and accepted the developer’s negotiated reduction of one turbine. The Planning Minister said there was no political interference by either himself or the Energy & Environment Minister.
    Establish all of the base numbers but, at least in NSW, a complete waste of time.

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