Landowner backs wind farm project

This article comes from the Border Watch newspaper. A stand out quote: “A landowner who has agreed to host wind turbines on his  property said he felt harassed and victimised by some residents who oppose” the project. We have been hearing a growing number of these statements in recent months.

Landowner backs wind farm project

A landowner who has agreed to host wind turbines on his Eight Mile Creek property said he felt harassed and victimised by some residents who oppose the proposed Allendale East wind farm development.

Anthony McKinnon said some residents had threatened to sue him if the turbines on his property affected their health, while others “played on his emotions”.

“Some asked me how I would be able to sleep if I put their health at risk, or they provided me with the contact details of a lawyer to advise me on how to get out of contracts I am signing with Acciona Energy (the wind farm developer),” Mr McKinnon said.

“They had me sitting on the fence, but I am going to sign the contract.”

According to an Acciona Energy spokesman, representatives from the wind farm developer this week visited the landowners who will host the proposed wind turbines on their properties to discuss contracts and the “misinformation” some residents have been giving to the community.

Mr McKinnon said despite recent allegations in the community that wind turbines could affect their health and be detrimental to the environment, he believed the development would benefit the region.

“There is no proof that anyone’s health will be affected or that the endangered Southern Bent-wing Bat will fly into the turbines and get killed,” he said.

“The development will bring millions into the region and produce green energy — here we have pump mills in the region that send tons of smoke into the air and pollute our lakes, but they don’t complain about that. The wind farm will be a lot less detrimental than that.”

Mr McKinnon said Acciona had agreed to pay $9000 annually for each of the four turbines planned on his property over a period of 25 years and he believed the same amount would be paid to each of the 10 other landowners, with a total of 46 towers making up the project.

He said some residents have accused him of being greedy.

“They say we just do it for the money, but if that was the case I would have jumped in and signed the contract long ago,” he said.

“I weighed it all up and the benefits for the community far outweighed anything else.”

According to Mr McKinnon some of the 10 other landowners also felt harassed by neighbouring residents.

“Some say they are not going to sign the contract anymore because they don’t want to be responsible for making other people sick, while others say they are now sitting on the fence,” he said.

Mr McKinnon said he was surprised that other residents claimed the consultation process was flawed and that they were unaware of the proposed development as they received no notifications from the Grant District Council in the mail.

“I received information and newsletters from council and Acciona and there was a lot of coverage on it in the local media and even in Adelaide,” he said.

“They are a bunch of ostriches that had their heads in the sand — they probably received it in the mail, but threw it away thinking it was junk mail.”
Posted on January 13, 2011

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