John Murphy, federal ALP MP for the seat of Reid (inner-western Sydney) made some extensive comments regarding the Landscape Guardians and other anti-windfarm groups in Federal Parliament on Wednesday 15 February. Independent Australia has republished his comments in full, here is a sample:
“The Landscape Guardians are well-known climate sceptics and deniers linked to the Liberal Party and the Institute of Public Affairs. They have a particularly close association with the IPA’s Australian Environment Foundation, which is more interested in logging trees than conserving them. The Institute of Public Affairs has been giving its opinion on climate change for decades now on behalf of its supporters—Billiton; Western Mining; Caltex; Esso Australia, a subsidiary of Exxon; Shell; and Woodside Petroleum—and it also receives funding from Rupert Murdoch’s News Ltd.
“While the Waubra Foundation appears unconcerned about the landscape of wind farms, its only agenda is the so-called ‘infrasound problems’ caused by wind turbines. Peter Mitchell successfully objected to the number of turbines proposed for the Stockyard Hill wind farm near Beaufort in Victoria. He also successfully had them removed from the ridge that he could see from his property. Sandi Keane found also that Peter Mitchell has interests in the fossil fuel industry. These include as founding chairman of the Moonie Oil Company Ltd and chairman or director of similar companies including Clyde Petroleum plc, Avalon Energy Inc., North Flinders Mines Ltd and Paringa Mining & Exploration plc, most now delisted on the Australian Stock Exchange.
“According to Lowell Resources Funds Management Pty Ltd, Mitchell’s experience is derived from over 25 years involvement in companies that explored for, developed and financed gold, uranium, coal and base metal mines, oil and gas fields and pipeline systems in Australia and overseas. He has been chairman of Lowell Pty Ltd, the ultimate parent company of both Lowell Capital Ltd and Lowell Resources Funds Management Pty Ltd, a specialist fund investing in emerging mining and energy companies, since taken over by Future Corporation Australia Ltd.
“Paul Miskelly, who represents both the Australian Landscape Guardians and the Taralga Landscape Guardians, worked for the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, ANSTO, for 32 years and gives talks on nuclear power. Climate scepticism is the stock in trade of the Landscape Guardians. Randall Bell, president of the Victorian Landscape Guardians, said in the Melbourne Age on 3 July 2010 that claims the earth is warming are scientifically unreliable and that the idea of man-made climate change is headed for the Y2K dustbin. But we do not see the Landscape Guardians campaigning alongside Lock the Gate, the New South Wales Farmers Federation and the Greens to halt the destruction of some of the best agricultural land in New South Wales and Queensland by coal seam gas miners. We do not see them campaigning in Victoria against Premier Ted Baillieu’s decision to reopen Victoria to brown coal mining. Farmers on the best agricultural land in Gippsland now face losing their farms to dirty, inefficient brown coal mining. Is an open-cut mine a preferable landscape to a wind farm, where food can continue to be grown?
“As with the Landscape Guardians, there is no information about funding or sponsorship of the Waubra Foundation. Yet money seems to be no object for its websites, campaigners, advertising, travel and media monitoring.
“As I said earlier, in the Boorowa area a $300 million wind farm is being proposed. At Rye Park the Epuron energy company wants to build 80 to 110 turbines, which will generate power for 90,000 homes. But, as Sandi Keane found, there is someone with a property near Yass whose influence on governments and public opinion is huge. Besieged media boss Rupert Murdoch owns Cavan, a substantial rural property in the grazing country nearby. No other media group in Australia has run a more distorted and dishonest scare campaign about wind farms than the Murdoch group. The district of Yass has in the planning stages a larger proportion of wind farms than elsewhere in Australia. These are planned at Bango, 25 km north of Yass; Birrema, 30 km west of Yass; Rye Park, 25 km north-east of Yass; and the Yass Valley itself. There are wind farms at Caroll’s Ridge, Conroy’s Gap, Coppabella Hills and Marilba Hills.”
Read the full speech at Indendent Australia.