February 8, 2008

Windfarm proposal "fairy tale," claims Barlow

MR. Malcolm Barlow, a strong anti-windfarm advocate, has described the proposal put forward by Mr. Chris Durrant, of Grabben Gullen for formation of a Windfarm Association to treat with future developers, as containing “factual errors, dubious assertions and ending in a fairy tale.”

Mr. Barlow put his counter-submission before Upper Lachlan Shire Council at its last meeting.

The factual errors claimed by Mr. Barlow included that the Australian population would double by 2030; that it was unlikely more coal-fired plants would be built; and that the State Government acted in accordance with the majority of NSW voters.

Mr. Barlow said the Australian Bureau of Statistics projections were for a population of 24 to 26 million by 2030 “nothing like the 40 -42 million of Mr. Durrant’s document.”

The Queensland and NSW Government’s had announced further coal-fired generators, while Germany had set in train plans for 26 more such plants.

Mr. Barlow added: “There has never been a NSW plebiscite on wind farms, so where is the basis for this assertion?”

Among the “assertions presented as facts,” Mr. Barlow listed the claim that a recent plebiscite (conducted by developer Epuron in the Southern Tablelands showed 80 per cent supportive of wind farms.

“When I personally questioned the Epuron spokesman at Grabben Gullen about this he conceded that the overwhelming majority of the 300 respondents were urban dwellers who lived in Goulburn, Yass or Crookwell,” Mr. Barlow said.

The “fairy tale” claimed by Mr. Barlow related to the proposition by Mr. Durrant that a Wind Farmers’ Association would work out “to the huge benefit of everyone.”

“The huge fairy tale is that Epuron, while initially offering $5,000 per year per turbine, will ultimately come to the board with an accepted offer as high as $20,000 per turbine per year,” Mr. Barlow said.

“The fairy tale assumes that adjacent landholders, faced with an array of negative impacts, can be bought off withy some annual dollars based on a radius apportionment formula on which they all magically agree.”

Mr. Barlow said this was an insult to those adjacent landholders whose opposition to “these huge whirling industrial structures, imposed upon our rural setting” is based upon values that have nothing to do with some annual dollars.

Mr. Barlow added that wind energy was fluky and intermittent, extremely costly, infinitesimal in the total scheme of power needs, and always has to be backed up by conventionally-powered stations on stand-by.

He said the wind farms would destroy landscapes; divide small communities; slaughter avian life; gut property values – while their legacy was huge rusting hulks that soak up subsidised dollars from the consumer and the taxpayer.

Mr. Barlow’s submission was received by Council.

Crookwell Gazette

8 February 2008

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/02/08/windfarm-proposal-fairy-tale-claims-barlow/