The Premier and Planning Minister walked into an Indian restaurant.
One was told he “wouldn’t know if his arse was on fire”; the other urged to wear a caricature mask mockingly depicting her own face.
Anti wind farm protesters made sure Mike Baird and Pru Goward received their message loud and clear at lunchtime on Friday.
The crowd – made up predominately of members from the Residents Against Jupiter Wind Farm group – used placards, T-shirts, masks, verbal jibes and even a replica turbine to reinforce their point outside the Southern Star Inn.
Premier Mr Baird and Planning Minister Ms Goward were among those who converged on the Reynolds Street restaurant for a Liberal Party fundraiser.
Some of the very people protesting out front laid down their signs and strolled into the luncheon – at a cost of $50-a-head.
They urged Mr Baird and Ms Goward to better consider landowners’ views and ensure consumers were exempt from paying a wind farm excess that benefits operators.
One protestor pleaded with the government to consider compensation for landholders whose property values have plummeted courtesy of wind farm developments.
Both the Premier and Planning Minister handled flak diplomatically.
“Good on you,” Mr Baird said in response to banter that claimed he wouldn’t know if his own backside was alight.
Ms Goward politely refused to wear one of the many masks indicating the Member for Goulburn was being figuratively gagged by Cabinet.
“I’m not going to wear myself,” she said.
Others present at the protest and Liberal Party fundraiser included mayor Geoff Kettle, his neighbouring compatriots John Shaw from Upper Lachlan and Wingecarribee’s Juliet Arkwright, Goulburn Mulwaree councillor Sam Rowland, outspoken anti wind farm campaigner Humphrey Price-Jones, and Christian Democrat candidate from the 2013 federal election, Adrian Van Der Byl.
The protesters’ motives transcended party politics, Residents Against Jupiter Wind Farm member Michael Crawford said.
“We’re aiming to get a message across to the government in terms of the resistance here,” he said on Friday.
“Clearly the Premier is ill-advised in terms of the policy he’s following. It’s harmful to local residents, it’s awful to ordinary citizens who are the consumers of the state and it benefits no-one except the developers.”
Boro Road property owner Greg Faulkner played recordings of wind turbine noises through loudspeakers on the back of his ute.
A lack of respect for property owners most affected by the proposed Jupiter Wind Farm, east of Lake George, drove him to act.
“It takes no account of local residents who live near the developments,” he said.
“A lot of the people here are committed to renewable power, but we make the distinction between all types of renewable energy and giant wind farms.
“There’s a world of difference between having some solar panels on your roof and living with 550 wind turbines placed as close as 350 metres from your front door.”
Tamsin Hanbrook estimates she and her family will lose a potential $440,000 due to the Jupiter Wind Farm project.
“We owe more than what our place will ever be worth, we can’t sell it,” she said of their Braidwood Road property.
“The people we were going to exchange contracts with pulled out because of the wind farms.
“The other block [on the Kings Highway], we’ve been trying to sell it for six months. We can’t sell it for love or money. As soon as people find out about the wind farms, they don’t want a bar of it.”
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