A high profile former member of a wind farm Community Consultative Committee based at Crookwell has denied using his business and political connections to gain influence.
Union Fenosa has withdrawn the invitation of Maurice Newman, from its Crookwell 2 and 3 CCC.
The developer says it’s taken the action because of a pattern of Mr Newman’s behaviour including his support for unsubstantiated legal threats being sent to its landholder stakeholders.
In a statement, the company says Mr Newman’s actions also included his apparent intervention to block Office of the Environment & Heritage employees from attending CCCs because they were providing material about NSW Health findings that wind turbines are harmless.
Mr Newman, who’s a Roslyn district property owner, currently heads up the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council and says he is threatened by the Crookwell wind developments.
He’s defending taking his concerns to then Premier, Barry O’Farrell, about government department employees attending committee meetings to provide information that wind turbines are harmless.
“I have no privileged access I am not a member of the Liberal party I have never been a member of the Liberal party,” he said.
“I don’t, I haven’t contributed to Mr O’Farrell’s re-election or any of those things. So I can’t help the fact I was the Chairman of the ABC, I am reasonably well known within the business community.”
Mr Newman says he fears losing a million dollars from his property’s value.
Mr Newman says he did send letters to turbine hosts but argues the information that land values have declined due to wind farms elsewhere is not unsubstantiated or intimidating.
“I mean if somebody does something that is likely to be injurious to your health or to your property, then I think by putting them on notice is intimidating, it’s simply stating the fact,” he said.
Union Fenosa says it rejects Mr Newman’s assertion that he’s been replaced on the committee because of his strongly held views and it’s not afraid of a fact-based discussion.
The company says it’s invited another prominent anti-wind farm lobby member to replace Mr Newman.
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