‘Wind farm protest powers up’

The following is a news article from the Macedon Ranges Weekly on the recent ‘information’ session on wind farming near Sunbury.

The FoE report on the meeting can be found here.

ANTI-WIND farm campaigners joined about 80 Gisborne and Sunbury residents at a community meeting last week opposing a turbine project at Gisborne South.

Gisborne company West Wind has built a 10-metre tower on a private property at 250 Dalrymple Road in Gisborne South to gather information about wind speed and strength.

It’s considering developing a six-tower wind farm on the land, which overlooks picturesque Red Rock.

A group called Sunbury Gisborne Landscape Guardians has been formed to oppose the project.

It says it has concerns about the project’s effect on land values, health, light flashing off the blades, easements, lightning and bird life.

It also highlights the Aboriginal heritage of Red Rock.

Australian Landscape Guardians president Randall Bell said it was working hard to protect natural landscapes across Victoria.

He said wind farms were not economic, efficient, environmental or effective.

“They are uneconomic compared to coal, and what do they do to the land values? Their intermittency fluctuates wildly.

“If it’s too windy, turbines shut down, if it’s not windy enough, the grid doesn’t work and there will be no electricity.

“Something needs to be on standby, whether it’s coal or gas.”

Economist Reg Brownell said the cost of wind power was four times that of coal.

“The whole thing is a farce. They might say it’s fast – but it’s a con.”

But Riddells Creek Sustainability Group member Lyn Hovey said wind power was a sustainable future practice.

“It’s more cost-effective than putting solar panels on everyone’s roof.

“At the moment, coal gets a subsidy, therefore wind power cannot be as cheap as coal.

“It can be connected to the grid and it strengthens the grid. The wind is always blowing somewhere in Australia and it is feeding into the grid.

“We’ll still get it, we’ll just be giving our local input.

“[The protest group is] putting all this energy into being negative about something that could solve our greenhouse gas problem.”

The owners of the proposed wind farm site told the Weekly they did not wish to comment.

The article can be found here.
30 Nov, 2010

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