Those who have followed the rollout of wind energy in Australia would have heard of the quaint Victorian town of Waubra–the location of one of Australia’s largest wind farms. Producing enough clean electricity for 143,000 households, more than enough to power Ballarat, Waubra’s 128 wind turbines offset a massive 635,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year which would have been generated by burning coal in the LaTrobe Valley.
While the town should be known for its leadership role addressing climate change and repowering Australia with renewable energy, its name has been tarnished by anti-wind farm lobbyists.
In 2010, the Waubra Foundation was formed by Peter Mitchell–a fossil fuel investor and wind farm opponent–and has unleashed a scare campaign about the alleged health risk of wind energy ever since. The organisation coopted the town’s name without consent of it residents. Unfortunately for locals, the town is linked to a so-called wind farm noise disease rather than its strong community and quality produce.
This all could be about the change.
Over a year in the making, independent filmmaker Neil Barrett has interviewed Waubra wind farmers, neighbours and locals to test the prevalence of negative views. Barratt has produced a short film entitled The Way The Wind Blows which counters the myths and gives locals a voice for the first time. The short film is a must view.
Friends of the Earth commend Neil Barrett for his commitment to the truth and courage to engage with the issue in a sensitive and respectful way. His efforts stand as a fine example of leadership to counter the spin of the anti-wind/renewable energy campaign. Hats off to the Victorian Wind Alliance for assisting Neil.