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Windfarm debate hots up  

Credit:  FARREN HOTHAM, Wellington Times, www.wellingtontimes.com.au 21 August 2011 ~~

The debate over at least two wind farms being proposed by Infigen Energy and Wind Prospect and now strong speculation there may be more are beginning to stir a very winded debate in the community.

At a Council meeting attended by Infigen’s Frank Boland the project manager, he was told by Cr Griggs that wind farms are a ‘’Pox on environment’’ and after telling Council that land holders were happy and prepared to work his group Cr Kevin Mason lashed out.

‘’People are up arms about this, I’m against this’’

It started a rush a comments to the Times website and letters, the latest calling for calm and sound debate.

Roger Everett of Maryvale said ‘’ In relation to the Wind Turbine proposal for Bodangora, having just seen hundreds of Wind Turbines and acres and acres of Sola Panels in over seven European Countries I fail to see how a few wind turbines will be a ‘ pox on the environment’ ‘’ Mr Everett pointed out.

‘’Personally almost a decade ago we made a decision to build a home without grid power connection, and the Solar and Wind Power system we installed cost less than the 30% of the cost quoted to connect us to the grid. We have not had an electricity bill for years and we have all the 240volt application of a modern home’’

‘’In the bigger picture we can only hope that the Wind Turbines at Bodangira go ahead and the outspoken councilors concerned revert to overseeing Council operations, which from recent repoting are in need of considerable attention and our Prime Minister overcomes this apparent obsession of taxing everything and everbody.’’

Peter Barton another local on the Mudgee Road believes some Councillor have lost their way and again are failing to listen.

‘’One vision that was uncovered and supported by community brain storming was that Wellington could become a centre for clean, green energy.’’

‘’If the ignored the community consultation process will have been a waste of time and energy for all of us involved.’’

‘’Many of the landholders in the region as Mr Boland seem to be okay with the Wind farm from what I’m told’’ he said

Meanwhile the pipeline debate has taken another interesting twist, the Times understands there are stakeholder relations people out and about in the region over the Young to Wellington pipeline and now a pipeline in the Coolah is again the centre of a big debate. Earlier there was a squabble over the pipeline route there and allegations erosion was caused by a pipeline.

“The Soil Conservation Service’s review concluded that the erosion incident was not caused by the pipeline,” Australia’s Pipeline Industry Chief Executive Cheryl Cartwright said.

Gas transmission pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to transport natural gas, with disruption to landholders’ properties only occurring during the construction of the infrastructure, according to the national association representing Australia’s pipeline industry.

APIA’s Chief Executive, Ms Cheryl Cartwright, said a problem near Coolah, north of Gulgong in New South Wales, where a pipeline was exposed during heavy rains, had not been caused by the pipeline, rather by “sedimentation of the watercourse well downstream of the pipeline” which had changed the flow of the water.

“This industry leads the world in construction and remediation and in operation and maintenance of transmission pipelines, and we are very proud of our national standard AS2885 which provides the industry’s guidance,” Ms Cartwright said.

“In Australia, we have 27,000 kilometres of high-pressure steel pipelines safely and efficiently transporting our natural gas,” she said.

“These gas pipelines can be, and are routinely, constructed in all soil types, not only including flood plains, but also under rivers and oceans with high tidal and cyclonic impacts. Where erosion is a possibility, special measures are employed to ensure the pipeline will not cause undesirable environmental impacts. This high performance in both construction and placement was clearly evident in the Coolah incident where the section concerned maintained its structural and placement integrity despite the emerging local flooding and erosion outcomes.

“And yes, gas transmission pipelines are in sensitive black soil elsewhere, operating safely. The so-called ‘easements’ near pipelines are merely access points which allow normal farming practices to continue around and directly above the pipeline.”

Source:  FARREN HOTHAM, Wellington Times, www.wellingtontimes.com.au 21 August 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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