As a famous YouTube clip of bloopers from his 1980s cooking show makes abundantly clear, Peter Russell-Clarke is the sort of man who calls a spade a shovel.
“I’m not gay, but I’m in love with Ted Baillieu,” the retired TV cook and cartoonist declares.
“If, God forbid, our new hero got run over by a big bus, I would like the next person to understand they shouldn’t put these monstrous great bloody things up in our area.”
Those “monstrous” things are 90m-high wind turbines, which energy company Transfield Services is investigating putting near Mr Russell-Clarke’s home at Tooborac, an area studded with picturesque granite outcrops, 105km north of Melbourne.
The new Victorian Coalition government has declared the area in the Macedon and McHarg Ranges a “no-go zone” for wind farms, along with other mountainous and coastal areas.
Transfield had been investigating putting up to 80 turbines across the hills west of Tooborac, but is likely to have the project killed if the new government sticks to its policy, which stipulates a distance of 2km between wind turbines and houses.
A Transfield spokesman said the company was awaiting “publication of guidelines and/or planning scheme amendments reflecting this policy position”.
“Any relevant policy changes will be incorporated as part of our Victorian wind farm development program,” the spokesman said.
Mr Russell-Clarke hopes the company will be sent packing. “It’s an absolutely unique and magnificent area, and to attempt to put one of these things in the ground is bloody ludicrous, apart from the fact that the f..king things don’t work,” he said. “They are inefficient. They are ugly.”
The man who led campaigns for local eggs and dairy produce questions the health effects of wind turbines, while proposing nuclear power as a possible alternative.
“They once said asbestos wasn’t bad for you and smoking wasn’t bad,” he said. “Now they are finding, in fact, that’s not true.
“The rest of the world is for nuclear power, and there is no doubt as we increase our population we will need more water, more food, more power, more everything. If nuclear is the way, then let’s do it.”
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