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Some Questions about Wind Farms


Question 1


I agree with the need for urgent action on the greenhouse gas issue. However, just where wind fits into the solution is not so straightforward.

There are obviously risks associated with wind turbine development, such as how effective they really are in reducing GGE, community division, impact on land values, and impact on the landscape, and I am interested in your views on how we manage these issues, or whether we manage them at all. More specifically :


In my experience, the implementation of policy is at least as important as the policies themselves, and if we don't answer these questions before we jump on the wind bandwagon, we will have no community, no landscape, low property values, and still

have runaway climate change.


Question 2


The DVD highlighted the sort of community division that follows your companies around. Does this concern you, and if so, what steps do you take to try to minimise the damage ? Because on face value, there is not much evidence it is a priority to you. Farmers approached to host turbines are encouraged to remain secretive, and not discuss with their neighbours a development that will impact them like nothing we have ever seen before. Your companies have one approved development, and a mass of monitoring towers and signed contracts with farmers, yet tonight is the first attempt at community consultation, and that was instigated by council rather than yourselves. Your commercial interests appear to take a great precedence over community interests. Whatever people's view about wind turbines, we obviously need to know how you will operate in our area.

What measures will you take to avoid destroying the fabric of our community, and avoid the sort of rifts that have occurred down at Gippsland ?


Question 3


There was an article in the Guardian, a British newspaper, that described covering the landscape with wind turbines as being like ripping up Rembrandts to light a fire. Some of us feel the same way about the Monaro landscape, and if we do tear up this masterpiece, we need to be confident it is for a very good cause.


What reduction in actual coal burnt can you guarantee us for turning our rural Monaro landscape into an industrial one ?


Question 4


There is no doubt that is right that climate change is the number one environmental issue, and needs addressing urgently. However, even the greatest fans of wind power will concede it can only ever be a small part of the solution. And there are some of us who believe it comes at a very high cost. It is very perplexing that we are so eager to sacrifice our community, our property values, and our landscape to the cause, when we have made very little effort as a community to lessen our emissions through much less painful, costly, and controversial means.

What steps is Council taking to reduce greenhouse emissions in our area ? Those of us who hate the thought of turbines may find them more palatable if we were making every effort on every other front to tackle the greenhouse issue.


Question 5


There have been a lot of figures quoted from other countries regarding equivalents and displacements.

The key questions however are about the ACTUAL net effects, not selective and optimistic forecasts.

I think everyone would like to know

*         Are we burning less coal - where is the info of actual tonnes NOT burned? The data should be easy to produce but is never available or quoted. As far as I am aware we are burning MORE coal

*         By how much has our or any other country's conventional generation ACTUALLY been reduced, due to current wind farms?

*         How much of our CO2 emissions have actually been displaced?

*         How many coal-fired power stations in Europe, England or Denmark have closed due to wind energy? The information that I have read says not one.


Question 6


The Monaro and Snowy mountains derives much of it's income now from tourism. In 10, 20 or 50 years it may increase even more. To date, careful restrictions on developments by past councils to preserve the natural beauty that attracts people to this area has been reflected in the Local Environment plans.

Tourism and lifestyle residents are increasing and likely to continue and we must be very careful as to how we change the LEP. The SRSC's draft LEP has been changed to allow wind turbines anywhere on the Monaro.

Gauging from the division already in the community and the lack of evidence that they are an effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is this a wise move?


Question 7


A wind farm of 33 turbines is claimed by its proponents to abate up to 300,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

This sounds like alot, until you place it against the 565 million tonnes we produced across the nation in 2004. The proposal therefore might make a difference of 1/20 of 1% in our CO2 emissions. Hardly an earth saving outcome, and no justification for the radical change to magnificent landscape and the deep communal division it creates.

Surely we have other measures that will have a greater effect on reducing CO2 levels and will not have these drastic effects?