The crowd queued out through the door and down the pavement for the inaugural meeting of the NSW Landscape Guardians in Crookwell last Sunday.
The large auditorium of the Crookwell Services Club was filled to capacity with concerned men and women threatened by industrial takeover of their land who had driven from as far as the Upper Hunter and the Monaro Those attending the meeting represented over 3000 members of 10 organisations from across NSW who have agreed to come under a single Landscape Guardian umbrella – as has been done with dramatic effect in Victoria.
“The tide on wind power stations has turned and there is now a deep fear of landscape being turned into industrial sites as a sea of steel turbines over Eastern Australia is on the drawing board,” spokesperson for the Guardians John Carter said.
“There were some very strong comments on the “sell out” of rural residents by the Department of Planning under the recent Labor government and some clear warnings for the new Government.
“The large crowd heard ten speakers explain different facets of the great ‘wind farm scam’ ranging from its hopeless inefficiency in power generation and subsequent cost to the consumer; its inability to significantly reduce CO2 emissions; its potentially serious effects on the health of those living in close proximity ; loss of control of one’s land and – most serious of all –acquisition of land by multi- national developers decreed by the Land and Environment Court for dwellings that are deemed too near proposed turbines.
“The audience was shaken as an older woman told of the land that her family had owned for 170 years being listed for acquisition by a Chinese company.
“A scientist who spoke at the meeting stated that the claims made by wind developers concerning the effectiveness and environmental advantages of wind energy are not founded on independent scientific research and called for wind developers to provide such empirical evidence to support their claims.”
The meeting considered four motions.
1. That the new Government institute a moratorium on all new industrial wind power stations until a health impact study is completed.
2. Those developments that have been approved under the last Government be independently re-assessed before any work proceeds.
3. That a parliamentary Inquiry be undertaken into the consent process used to date by the Department of Planning.
4. That Government decree that independent monitoring of noise from operational wind turbines be instituted and where the noise exceeds industrial noise limits that they are shut down during the normal hours of sleep.
“They were all carried unanimously – indicating the feeling that is now sweeping across NSW,” Mr Carter said.
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