Anti-wind attack on property near Ararat

The following story comes from the Ararat Advertiser.

Vandals wreaked havoc on a property near Ararat earlier in the week, causing $10-$15,000 damage. Apart from being a criminal act, it appears that politics are also at play. As the article notes: “Many of the slogans sprayed on the walls are threats, warning the Hamiltons not to install a wind turbine on the property”. Graffiti visible in a photo attached to the story says ‘wind turbines suck’. While emotions can run high in the debate over wind energy, most people act in appropriate ways to express their feelings. It would appear that a person or people have stepped over the line in an in-excusable and very worrying fashion.

We trust that local anti-wind campaigners will denounce this vandalism in the strongest possible terms.

Reward offered for information
17 Apr, 2012

ARARAT – Tom Hamilton felt sick to his stomach after surveying the damage caused to his property a few kilometres from Ararat.

The disturbing act of vandalism has prompted Mr Hamilton to offer a $3000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the offenders.

Vandals wreaked havoc on his property, eight kilometres from Ararat off the Pyrenees Highway.

The offenders attacked a shed and shipping container used by the extended Hamilton family as a weekender, causing between $10,000 and $15,000 damage.

Threatening slogans have been sprayed across the exterior and interior of the sheds, relating to wind farms, and equipment has been smashed both inside and outside the buildings.

A generator, chainsaw, quad bike and Honda inverter have all been completely destroyed, while water tanks, a hot water cylinder, power cords, water pipes and pumps have all been rendered useless, in what Mr Hamilton describes as a senseless act of vandalism.

Inside the buildings, furniture and personal property has also been destroyed.

“They’ve trashed everything, I can’t believe what’s happened,” a distraught Mr Hamilton said on Friday.

“It will cost $10,000 to $15,000 to replace every thing. I don’t know how much we’re covered for with insurance – it’s just senseless stuff.”

The family enjoyed Easter at the block – a 300 acre property – and Mr Hamilton said one of his sons was there last Tuesday.

Police believe the vandalism occurred sometime between then and 10am on Thursday.

Many of the slogans sprayed on the walls are threats, warning the Hamiltons not to install a wind turbine on the property.

Mr Hamilton said they had been approached by a wind farm company about five years ago seeking their interest in having one turbine placed on the property as part of an overall wind farm development in the area.

“But that was five years ago and we haven’t heard anything more since,” he said.

“I’d just forgotten about it.”

Mr Hamilton can’t understand why anyone would carry out such a violent act.

“My guts have been churning all day. We’ve put a lot of hard work into this place over the years,” he said.

“They mustn’t have anything better to do with their life.”

Ararat Criminal Investigation Unit is currently investigating the damage and anyone with information can contact Detective Sergeant Guy Menhennitt at Ararat CIU, phone 5355 1500.

8 thoughts on “Anti-wind attack on property near Ararat

  1. Martin Ferguson cares about ‘energy infrastructure’ and hates ‘eco terrorists’, which means he will presumably report this to ASIO, AFP and Maxwell Smart, right?

    Its really sad to see the rural community so divided by extremists. I hope nobody gets hurt.

  2. Cameras. Nice hidden movement sensing cameras – a half dozen should do it. There’s no excuse for that kind of behaviour. Regardless, someone locally will hear, someone will know. It depends on the local’s desire to live in a peaceful community, or one where you have to watch your back. Of course you’d hope the Hamiltons aren’t just riding rough-shod all over everyone else’s feelings on the matter. That said, Australia seems to be the only place in the world where there’s any strong negative feeling about wind generation. Weird.

  3. It seems that no-one can discover who was responsible for two serious acts of vandalism in South Gippsland some years ago . A monitoring tower at Devon North had its cables cut in about 2004 or 2005 and the same happened at Bald Hills a couple of years later .By then the company had plenty of data, but the action was clearly aimed at damaging the company and intimidating its local representatives. At the time the bandwagon effect meant that many supporters of wind power did not declare themselves publicly ; also at least one key proponent( part owner of the original company) felt unable to go out alone at night . Serious stuff.

  4. A most reprehensible act regardless of one’s position on wind farms. The culprit has obviously been taking lessons from other extremists like those who put spikes into trees marked for logging, damage logging equipment, make false bomb phone calls to organisers of anti wind farm forums and break into and damage coal and oil installations.

    1. It’s interesting, Robert, none of your alleged (and rare if not completely imaginary) acts target people on their own property at home like the vandals at Ararat. On the other hand I know a number of greenies who have been beaten quite badly by logging supporters during the ugly forest wars in the 1990s. Let’s not let this conflict get to that stage shall we? Although I fear there may be some who want just that, because the politics of fear and violence are so hard to counter.

  5. hi Robert, yes must say i am surprised to hear you say that someone has put in ‘false bomb phone calls to organisers of anti wind farm forums’. If so, thats terrible. Where was this and when did it happen? I assume it was reported to the police, so what was the outcome?

    Just as an aside, no one has ever been charged with tree spiking or damage of logging equipment or coal and oil installations in Australia (although there was an incident in WA in the 1970s, but that is a generation ago) so i don’t think its very useful to draw a link to something that might have happened overseas, unless you had some axe to grind….

  6. I don’t know who Robert Joseph Brown is. But his post is indicative of a common tactic used by various anti-wind campaigners on this site – make a substantial or emotive claim or statement but don’t back the claim up in anyway.

    So, Robert tells us that someone has made a ‘false bomb call’ to an anti wind farm organiser. If this has indeed happened then it is outrageous, and needs to be strongly denounced. Yet, there has been no response from Mr Brown. Its a standard tactic: make a claim (eg that Friends of the Earth gets money from wind companies) and let it sit there without responding. Poor form indeed.

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