Attached are copies from the Hamilton Spectator. Retyped below for easier reading.
Make sure you read Annie Gardner’s letter to the editor. This is so typical of the industry and the tours they take prospective hosts and selective neighbours on.
Victorian wind farms host interstate community tours
Tim Nelson Aug 15, 2016
AGL Energy Limited’s (AGL) Macarthur and Oaklands Hill Wind Farms recently played host to community members living near the proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm project in western Queensland.
Thirty-eight people toured the two wind farms and met with local turbine hosts, wind farm neighbours, wind farm workers and local businesses and had the opportunity to ask questions and discuss any concerns they had about wind farms.
Coopers Gap Wind Farm project manager, Neil Cooke, said apart from the tour giving attendees the opportunity to experience an operating wind farm first hand, the Macarthur and Glenthompson communities also received an economic boost from the visit.
“Throughout the trip we used local businesses and suppliers. We stayed at accommodation in Warrnambool, had lunches and dinners at Macarthur and Dunkeld, and visited the Suffoir Winery.
“We especially thank the Victorian wind farm community for their hospitality and the generosity they showed to their Queensland neighbours during the visit,” Mr Cooke said.
Potential Coopers Gap Wind Farm host and tour attendee, Cyril Stewart, described the tour as “enlightening”.
“I really enjoyed the tour. I can see no adverse physical effects from being near the wind turbines. In my opinion, the sooner they can build it the better. It’s not just going to be of benefit to participating landholders, but the whole community,” Mr Stewart said.
Similarly, tour attendee, John Maher, said he enjoyed the visit and found it to be very informative.
“As a wind farm neighbour for the Coopers Gap Wind Farm, I don’t think there will be any physical effects from the wind farm on people. I also didn’t see any impacts on farm animals or wildlife either. And I’m keen for all the community to get some benefit from having such a large economic investment in our area,” Mr Maher said.
The proposed Coopers Gap Wind Farm project is AGL’s foremost renewable energy project in Queensland. While there is some time to go before a final decision can be made on whether the project proceeds to construction, it is hoped that if it proceeds it would be financed through AGL’s Powering Australian Renewables Fund.
The Coopers Gap Wind Farm is proposed to have a capacity of up to 350 MW, which would produce approximately 1,100 GWh of renewable energy, powering more than 190,000 average Australian homes. The renewable energy produced would reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 860,000 tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of taking over 250,000 cars off the road.___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________Letter to the editor from Annie GardnerMore questionsSeveral weeks ago a busload of around 35 visitors travelled from their properties around Kingaroy in Queensland, away fro three days and three nights, visiting AGL’s Macarthur wind farm and Oaklands Hill wind farm at Glenthompson.This visit was paid for wholly by AGL Energy Ltd., and those partaking consisted mainly of potential turbine hosts along with a few neighbours to AGL’s proposed 3.5 megawatt 115 turbine wind farm at Cooper’s Gap, near Kingaroy in Queensland.The aim of this junket was obviously to convince mainly turbine hosts, but also a few sceptical neighbours, that both these wind farms operated by AGK had no impact on resident’s health or farming enterprises, no division within the community , and generally were an enormous asset to these districts, wholly supported by the two communities.The visitors during this sojourn, in addition to having all return air fares Brisbane to Melbourne paid for by AGL, along with coach travel to and around the district, were treated to top class accommodation for three nights, including the Parkroyal Hotel at Melbourne Airport, wine tastings, fine wine and dining and given the opportunity to meet and speak with many within the community, specifically chosen of course.However it appears that people with whom the visitors met and discussed both wind farms, were those benefitting from AGL’s generous donations and sponsorship, which has been ongoing in this district for well over 12 years now.When asked by several participants if they could indeed meet with those residents whose is severely impacted by turbines at the Macarthur wind farm the visitors were told by an AGL representative they had attempted to contact the residents, but they had gone away.Our family is one of the families with whom the visitors requested to meet, and contrary to what they were told by AGL, we were at home.What’s more at no stage did anybody attempt to contact us either by phone or email, regarding potential visit, as requested by some Cooper’s Gap residents.AGL is only too well aware of our email contact details, having replied by email with their pathetic generic responses, to over 330 health complaints from our family since 2012.We are told the request to meet impacted residents around the Macarthur wind farm was made on more than one occasion.We asked AGL why they chose to lie to these visitors and why they would not allow them the opportunity to gain a balanced view from those of us living in hell, next to their Macarthur wind farm, those of us who are forced to leave our properties regularly to get a decent night’s sleep?Why did AGL intentionally shield these visitors, and not allow them to meet with some of the families whose lives have been destroyed by their Macarthur wind farm?Why did AGL purposely hide from the busload of 35 visitors from Queensland, the real truth about the devastation of health and lives, not to mention impacted farming businesses happening here at the Macarthur wind farm? AGL is only too well aware of the ongoing pain and suffering experienced by many families living within the vicinity of the Macarthur wind farm, yet chose to prevent these visitors from hearing the truth, only allowing them to meet with people, such as turbine hosts in receipt of millions of dollars payment from AGL, and others within the community who are indirectly benefiting from this development.The visitors were supplied with a myriad of propaganda during their visit, all of which dispelled any fears of health impacts, or any other adverse effects as a result of proximity to wind turbines. They were given, in particular, documentation compiled by a Professor of Public Health from Sydney University,, one of the wind industry “pets”who gave them several pages of links to websites denying health impacts.This professor is trotted out by the wind industry regularly as he developed what he refers to as the “nocebo” effect, that is, that the adverse health effects people suffer from as a result of acoustic emissions from wind turbines, is in fact all in their heads.The literature given to the visitors, compiled by this professor, who is not a scientist, nor has any qualifications in medicine simply gave website after website of information denying any health impacts from wind turbines.AGL where was the balanced literature, of which there is an abundance out there now, outlining the evidence of incredibly serious ongoing pain and suffering by families living in the vicinity of wind turbines?Why didn’t AGL give their visitors copies of the recent Senate Inquiry submission of Clive and Trina Gare, hosts of turbines at AGL’s Hallett wind farm in South Australia, speaking out despite being gagged, about their serious health problems living near, yet being paid handsomely, to host several wind turbines on their property?Why is AGL forging ahead with the development of yet another huge wind farm at Cooper’s Gap in Queensland, using turbines of greater generating capacity than those at Macarthur which are seriously impacting residents’ health, when they are fully aware of the problems experienced at both Macarthur wind farm and Oaklands Hill at Glenthompson?Why is AGL forging ahead with this enormous wind farm at Cooper’s Gap when it is well aware that families have been forced to leave their homes either permanently or weekly to get away from the conditions toxic with infrasound, low frequency noise and vibration pulsation caused by both the Macarthur and Glenthompson wind farms?Why does AGL refuse to act as the good, responsible corporate and community citizen this company claims to be, by attempting to “clean up their act” here in south-west Victoria, before they charge ahead, knowingly destroying the health of so many more rural Australian families at Cooper’s Gap in Queensland?We ask where is the next innocent community to be ravaged by AGL, an Australian company?How long will governments allow these carpetbaggers to continue destroying lives and communities, with such a highly inefficient, unreliable and expensive form of power, totally subsidized by the Australian taxpayer?Annie GardnerPenshurst