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‘Could result in death’: shots fired at Waubra wind turbines  

Credit:  Derrick Krusche | The Courier | 27 Sep 2017 | www.thecourier.com.au ~~

Police suspect a long-arm gun was used to shoot turbines across the Waubra Wind Farm northwest of Ballarat recently.

Detectives have launched an investigation after technicians found bullet holes on several of the big structures, which are located on private farms.

The offence could have occurred any time from late last year before the damage was discovered by renewable energy company Acciona around May.

Since the Waubra Wind Farm started operations there have six similar incidents reported to police between 2010 and 2017.

Detective Senior Sergeant David Hermit said these offences were dangerous to Acciona employees as they were regularly inside the turbines performing maintenance.

“This kind of reckless behaviour could result in the serious injury or death of an employee who is inside one of the turbines,” he said

Wind turbines have often sparked controversy over their appearance and also over unverified health concerns.

Detective Senior Sergeant Hermit could not say what the motivation was.

Police have previously interviewed people of interest but no charges have been laid.

They were looking into whether the gun was fired from a paddock or along a road.

“It’s probably some form of long-arm, just because of the distance involved,” Detective Senior Sergeant Hermit said.

Waubra-based Acciona turbine technician Frank Cartledge said: “To find these bullet holes and the damage they’ve done, it’s pretty scary.”

EARLIER:

Ballarat detectives have called on public assistance after turbines at the Waubra Wind Farm were shot at.

Police are investigating following reports a number of gun shots had been fired into one of the structures.

It was reported to police after staff discovered damage to the turbine but the exact dates of the incident or incidents are unknown.

It’s believed the offence could have occurred any time from late last year before the damage was discovered by staff.

Since the Waubra Wind Farm started operations there have been a total of six similar incidents reported to police between 2010 and 2017.

Ballarat-based Detective Senior Sergeant David Hermit said these offences were dangerous to employees working at the wind farm as they were regularly inside the turbines performing maintenance.

“This kind of reckless behaviour could result in the serious injury or death of an employee who is inside one of the turbines,” he said.

“It may not always be apparent that someone’s working inside the wind turbines so these people are engaging in some very dangerous behaviour.

“If you are shooting at these wind turbines there is a high chance you could hit an employee.

“The safety of these employees is the highest priority for police and we appeal for anyone who may have information to please come forward.

“We believe there are people in the community who may have knowledge of these incidents and we encourage them to speak to police or submit a confidential report to Crime Stoppers.”

Anyone with any information about is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or make a confidential report at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au

Source:  Derrick Krusche | The Courier | 27 Sep 2017 | www.thecourier.com.au

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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