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Second class citizens  

Credit:  Northern Argus, www.northernargus.com.au 7 December 2011 ~~

The draft Development Plan Amendment for Statewide wind farms reveals what the state government really thinks about rural South Australians.

We note that wind farms are “sensitive”developments for urban areas, and thus not considered as appropriate there, but for people who happen to live in the country, such sensitivity does not exist.

This DPA clearly paints country people as second class (or lower) citizens, who will be denied the right to appeal developments that will severely impact them if they happen to be living in a sparsely populated area where someone wishes to construct a wind farm.

Peer reviewed medical research by suitably qualified persons is available (to anyone who cares to look for it) that clearly and unequivocally shows that persons living close to wind turbines may suffer a range of medical conditions. Anything less than 5 kilometres is a risk zone, but people can be affected up to 10 kilometres away. 1 and 2 kilometres are meaningless setbacks, a complete tokenism on the part of the Minister. The wind farm history of this country is littered with broken households, families forced to leave their homes, people suffering a range of medical problems. Why do we not simply recognise the facts and protect people from the risks?

For many of us, where we live, our home is the sum of our assets. If these assets are devalued by proximity to wind turbines, who will compensate us? We read in this DPA a lot about justifying destroying the landscape, but where in this entire document are people considered? The destruction of the rural environment is bad enough, but to deliberately ignore the human cost displays a callousness more befitting a third world dictatorship than a first world democracy. Whether one has a belief in wind turbines as the saviours of the world, or not, why do the turbine trumpeters insist on dumping them on top of people?

We would like to see respect for the aspirations of rural South Australians who live with fewer services, who are committed to doing something positive for the environment, attacking climate change at the grass roots level and happy to get on with job, and do not expect or receive plaudits for doing so. All they ask is that they can live in the peaceful landscape that they are helping to create and maintain and that their right to do so is honoured and protected.

Not one of the politicians promoting wind turbines, not one of the management or staff of Pacific Hydro who are promoting the Keyneton Wind Farm proposal live under or near or within sight of wind turbines themselves. Yet they will tell us that they are ‘beautiful’, that there are no health risks, that they will increase our property values.

We would like to ask who gave Mr Rau the mandate to create an industrial landscape over virtually the entire rural area of South Australia?

The Statewide Wind Farms Development Plan Amendment is a blatant attempt to give foreign and interstate companies the right to impose an out-dated and failed technology on the landscape and the people of rural South Australia, and to remove the right of South Australian country folk to object to such treatment. Now is the time to raise our voices, our pens and our phones in protest. Make sure that your council and your local member knows your views. Write to the Premier. Do it now.

TONY WALKER, CHAIR EASTEN MT LOFTY RANGES LANDSCAPE GUARDIANS INC

Source:  Northern Argus, www.northernargus.com.au 7 December 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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