Waubra Wednesday #9 – Community demands its name back from anti-wind farm group

Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 8.43.58 AMOn 1 November  2013,  the Waubra community ramped up its campaign to reclaim its name from an anti-wind farm lobby group known as the Waubra Foundation.

Fed up with the town’s name being tarnished by claims of a ‘Waubra disease‘, community leaders have sent a petition with 316 signatures to the anti-wind farm organisation asking them to stop using town’s name. Yes 2 Renewables applaud the community’s effort on the issue.

“Waubra is associated with wind towers. We don’t mind that,” Waubra wind farmer Doug Hobson told The Courier. “With the turbines people actually take more notice of our town as they pass through.

“But when you Google ‘Waubra’ the first thing that comes up is something negative about our town. People would think that everyone in Waubra doesn’t like wind farms, and that is not the case,” Hobson added.

The petition was sent to the Waubra Foundation just days after they announced more anti-wind farm campaigners to positions in the organisation, such as retired Liberal MP Alby Schultz who is slated to lobby the Abbott government. Yes 2 Renewables commented on the appointments at Climate Spectator.

It’s clear the Waubra Foundation has no credible claim to use the town’s name. Yet will the Foundation heed the wishes of community members or will it ignore them? Time will tell. For now, Yes 2 Renewables will keep an eye on the situation.

Petition Text

We, the community of Waubra, are deeply concerned that your organisation has for many years tried to link our town in the public’s mind with wind farm-induced sickness.

Waubra is a farming community, not an illness.

We are comfortable with the wind farm. It supplies much-needed income to our farms and our community. It does not make us sick.

Your organisation has never spoken for Waubra. Out of respect for our town’s good name, we ask that you immediately remove any mention of Waubra from the name of your organisation.

Cover Letter sent with the petition

Friday, 1st November 2013

Dear directors,

We, the undersigned, live in Waubra. Some of us host wind turbines on our properties while others of us are close neighbours. The primary concern of all of us is the reputation of the town that is our home.

Waubra has a proud and long history. Our land is based on rich volcanic soils that support a diverse agricultural production base and features views of cleared agricultural land, magnificent geological features and a wind farm. We actively support one another through a range of clubs and community groups.

Since the placement of the infamous “wind turbine syndrome” ad in our local newspaper in 2009, the organisation you originally titled the “Waubra Disease Foundation” has tried to link our town in the public’s mind with sickness, a connection we find false and demeaning to our town. Waubra is a farming community, not an illness.

We are writing to ask you to give us back the name of our little town.

Please find attached a petition of 316 signatures we have collected calling for you to immediately remove any mention of Waubra from the name of your organisation. 179 of the signatures come from people who live in Waubra and it’s immediate vicinity while a further 137 come from people closely associated with the town – either through work, recreation or having grown up here.

Your tarnishing of Waubra’s name affects all those people who are associated with the town.

As we understand it, not one of you lives within even 100km of Waubra. Most of you live much, much further away. You have not come and spoken with us. If you had, you would have realised that we are proud of our town and comfortable with the presence of the wind farm in our paddocks. It has brought dependable income to our farms, strengthened our broader local economy and has brought welcome new jobs to our town. It does not make us sick.

We acknowledge that a small number of our neighbours are vocal in their concerns about the wind farm. They are true members of our community and we thoroughly respect their right to speak freely. In no way do we wish to stop them, or you, from speaking their mind. However, we fail to see how the Waubra Foundation’s unrelenting and unscientific misinformation campaign against wind energy helps these individuals with the problems they are experiencing.

Your organisation has never spoken for Waubra. Out of respect for our town’s good name, we ask that you immediately remove any mention of Waubra in the name of your organisation.

For more on Waubra’s struggle to reclaim their name, visit the Victorian Wind Alliance.

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