The Courier: Winds of Change at Waubra

If you’ve been following the development of wind energy in Australia then chances are you’ve heard of Waubra. The small country town in western Victoria is home to one of the largest wind farms in the southern hemisphere and emerged as a key battleground for the anti-wind farm lobby in Victoria. (The anti-wind farm group the Waubra Foundation went so far as to coopt the town’s name for their own narrow interests.)

The following story published by The Courier details how locals are trying to escape the nastiness of anti-wind farm campaigning. Waubra residents will hold a community festival on Saturday October 6 to reemphasise their town’s reputation for strong community and quality produce.

Evan Schurrman reports for the Ballarat Courier:

The quaint town of Waubra is working to break the massive shackles that come with being a hub for wind farm debate, and instead wants to be known foremost as a community with great people and produce.

The message is being sent ahead of next months Waubra Community Festival, which was previously called the Waubra Wind Farm Festival.

Festival committee member Karen Molloy said the change in name reflected a growing desire for Waubra to step out from the shadows cast by the wind farm issue.

“We want to showcase Waubra because it’s so much more than wind,” she said.

“We love the wind towers and we’re just hoping we can create some positive news for Waubra.”

Ms Molloy said negative media coverage had begun to weigh on the community, who she said was mostly in favour of the wind farms.

“Ninety-nine per cent of the community are living quite happy with the wind turbines, but it’s probably the one per cent that aren’t happy that are being heard and being quite vocal,” she said.

The festival promises a range of activities for children, as well as the “Waubra Gift” running race, a horticultural display and guided tours out to the wind turbines.

Ms Molloy said the entire community had benefited from the installation of wind turbines, with energy producer Acciona contributing to a Waubra Wind Farm Community Fund.

“Most of the money has gone onto our Community Hub facility, and we’ve probably got the best facilities in the Central Highlands Football League,” she said.

The Courier was unable to make contact with head of the fund, counsellor David Clark yesterday.

The festival will be held on Saturday October 6 between 10am and 4pm. A bus will be available for travel between Ballarat and Waubra on the day.

10 thoughts on “The Courier: Winds of Change at Waubra

  1. Good luck to the Waubra community, fantastic to see that at last the real story is coming out and the emptiness of the claims made by windfarm opponents is revealed.

    I hope the Waubra Community Festival grows to become a well-known and well supported event.

  2. I’ve been amazed at how long it’s taken for this backlash to become evident. The toffs at the Waubra Foundation, none of them living anywhere near Waubra, go on about falling land values as the do their best to constantly run down Waurbra as some hell hole. I’m amazed they dare ever show their faces there.

  3. I hear some people in Daylesford rue the day they met Sarah Laurie whose specialty seems to be unravelling the bonds that unite rural communities – for no apparent reason.

    What is the motive of a group of people who (1) don’t live near a wind farm, (2) don’t live in Waubra, and (3) have never experienced the alleged wind turbine syndrome they are so keen to indoctrinate in others?

    Lock the Gate by comparison are fighting csg fracking on THEIR properties. That makes sense. Waubra Foundation and the Landscape Guardians who run the foundation have yet to answer this question. A well known journalist told me yesterday he’d been given short shrift by Michael Woolridge. Perhaps we should invite the “Waubra” Foundation to Waubra to meet the Waubra residents?

  4. We have recently been advised that ORIGIN has abandoned its planned (small scale) wind farm at Lexton. This is, I expect, a commercial decision. I am guessing that ORIGIN is really in the profits business rather than the energy business. Had the Lexton wind farm gone ahead, I would have had a turbine within 1.5km of my place.
    This was no threat to me.
    I have yet to find any evidence that wind turbines have a deleterious effect on human health.
    I am aware that Simon Chapman has found more than 100 illnesses caused by wind farms and I have enjoyed a good laugh.
    There may well be other reasons for people to dislike turbines, and that’s fair enough.
    But let’s hear the real reason for the dislike!
    I am still waiting for the opponents of renewable energy to offer an alternative response to the looming climate change disaster.

    1. JPM, quite a few years ago I bought some shares in Origin because at the time, the company was, or appeared to be, committed to renewables. The sliver cell technology was one example. But when the latest CEO took over and started making noises about developing CSG and criticising renewables, I sold them. I suspect quite a number of shareholders are pretty dirty on the direction Origin has taken in the last couple of years.

  5. Thanks for sharing you considered thoughts John. I recently visited south west Victoria. According to locals I spoke with, there are 23 homes located within 2km of turbines at the Codrington wind farm. The farm has operated for over ten years with a clean record on human health.

  6. Exactly right, Leigh.
    Codrington has been there for years and nobody seems to have noticed.
    Next time you are out this way, feel free to call in at my zero emissions house.
    I have a small wind turbine (stored in the shed!!!!!!!!!).

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