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Vested interests override ethics

As the end of 2011 approaches, I reflect on the uncertainty and worry our family has been through, all because of West Wind Energy’s proposed and now approved 107 turbine wind energy facility in the Moorabool Shire.

With hindsight, if, over the last two and a half years since West Wind Energy entered our lives, had we sat on our hands and done nothing we would be no further behind than we are now in our quest for a fair go.

We attended a panel hearing a complete sham, a Senate inquiry into the social and economic impact of rural wind farms and various other meetings.

The NH&MRC at the Senate enquiry and our own Moorabool panel hearing recommended that a precautionary approach to health issues be adopted.

So far there has been a deafening silence. All we were and still are asking for is that the 150-metre high turbines, higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge and 1000 metres from our dwelling, be resited at least another 1000 metres further away.

Along with all the other wind farm projects which were approved before the change of government in Victoria from Labor to Coalition we are not protected by the VC82 Amendment, which gives any new projects a two kilometre buffer from homes.

So many people think that all projects have to be in line with the new Victorian guidelines, a myth that is perpetuated by wind farm proponents, Friends of The Earth, Clean Energy Council and other unfair people who make the erroneous assumption that, because we do not have a pecuniary interest in the turbines, that is the reason for our objections.

West Wind Energy, along with all the other wind farm proponents, continues to deny that there are:

Any adverse health effects from people living too close to too many turbines.

Any decreases in property valuations and inability to sell. It must be declared on the Section 32 form when preparing to sell, that turbines are adjacent to the property for sale.

The noise standards used in all the approved wind farms are still New Zealand 6808: 1998 which suits the wind company’s purpose.

Even the latest guidelines for Victoria use New Zealand 2010 standards.

Why we cannot have our own Australian standards is beyond me.

Maybe I am naive but it still puzzles me as to just why the planners, and this includes state and federal governments, planning panels, local councils and wind energy companies are so averse to taking into account the legitimate concerns of the community.

Australia surely is big enough to accommodate wind energy facilities without all this unnecessary controversy.

I can only conclude that there are people involved in the industry with vested interests which override any moral or ethical standards and duty of care to their fellow human beings.


Mt Egerton