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Ramsay defends wind farm criticism

Greg Barber’s opinion piece (The Weekly Times, January 11), is an unfortunate rambling of criticisms laid against me which warrants a reply.

Firstly, it is incorrect to say that I am anti-wind farms.

In fact, I support wind farm generation in well-planned areas and support other renewable energies.

It is also true that six years ago I, and other landholders, supported a proposed Mt Gellibrand wind farm, being developed by a German company with certain conditions.

The conditions were never met, the wind farm never constructed, and the permit changed hands three times over its life.

The landholders, the land, the companies, the development plans and the science have all changed. Mr Barber knows this, as it is well-documented in Hansard and on the public record.

I refute the nonsense the Greens trot out in the name of jobs and environment.

It is Labor-Greens policy that has encouraged Victoria’s manufacturing and jobs off-shore, and is similarly strangling agriculture.

Mr Barber’s know-all attitude to what’s best in country Victoria smacks of hypocrisy. It took a one-day wonder trip to the country for Mr Barber to sort out the science on wind turbines.

He emerged from his leafy urban homeland to stumble upon a turbine under which he stood and had a conversation.

From this, he decided there were no noise impacts.

If this is the science the Greens use to validate their arguments, then it is absurd.

Similar sentiment applies to his distraction with Chinese underpants.

This arrogant duplicity is again paraded at duck season.

Mr Barber calls for it to end – yet all the while he’s happy to have endangered species, such as brolgas, conveniently forgotten in the heady rush to erect turbines as monolithic tributes to himself and the giddy green brigade.

The reality is that renewable energy in total provides 5 per cent of Victoria’s electricity generation, with wind producing 1.5 per cent, without base load generation.

Science is indicating that some wind farms are exceeding the permissible 35 decibel Australian standards, even out to 1.5km.

Indeed, topography, undulation and wind direction are already forcing changes to some development plans.

Mr Barber would be wise to note that a South Australian court has directed AGL to shut down turbines overnight at its Hallett wind farm because they breach noise standards.

This sort of example confirms the need for independent pre-construction tonal assessments.

It’s called science, Mr Barber, and most people, including the courts, take it seriously.

Regardless of your views on wind farm generation, a time-honoured tradition in the bush has always been to respect your neighbours.

That is something Mr Barber and his Green Party will never understand.

Unfortunately, the wind generators are showing the same kind of attitude, which, on behalf of the communities in Victoria, I will not tolerate.

Simon Ramsay is an Upper House MP