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Ed Chenery Letter To Editor

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Can you imagine a wind farm being constructed on top of Ubirr Rock at Kakadu or on top of Mount Kosciuszko, at Echo Point in Katoomba or along the escarpment of the Great Ocean Road? How about an off shore wind farm on the Great Barrier Reef?


No of course not! These sites have already been protected from the erection of these monstrous towers with the creation of National Parks or in the case of the Great Ocean Road by special legislation designed to prohibit developments detrimental to tourism.


But what have these iconic sites have in common with Eden's beautiful pristine Twofold Bay? Our town and our Bay are plumb centre in one of only a handful of 'Must See' natural landscapes presently being showcased by Australian Tourism to visitors from across the globe, along with all of the irreplaceable sites mentioned above. So far this strategy is working with ever increasing international tourists streaming into our town.


Our pristine Bay along with our surrounding Ben Boyd National Park is much sought after by tourists anxious to escape their own environment of overdevelopment, pollution and human made ugliness.


The marketing at states: "Australia's Coastal Wilderness is where tall forests, lakes and beaches meet. Walk and camp along the wild, empty coastlines, surf and snorkel from the bush-fringed beaches and canoe the still, majestic lakes. Spot whales, dolphins, seals and penguins, dine on freshly-caught seafood and trace the area's Aboriginal history at ancient midden sites". No wonder our international visitors expect to find a 'Garden of Eden' when they visit us.


Our Twofold Bay coastline is relatively free of industrial intrusion thanks to the natural screening of much of the SEFE site; however the construction of these 145 metre high, constantly moving, groaning monsters, will be counterproductive to this new growing tourism market.


The proposed towers would be very close to Boyd's Tower, Fisheries Beach, Edrom House and the Davidson Whaling Station and provide an unwanted industrial intrusion on these icons and on future tourism development plans for the 'Light to Light Walk' and Fisheries Beach in particular.


Visitors who now flock to the lookout at Rotary Park must not be allowed to be split into those that are not offended and those that are shocked and appalled. We need to continue pleasing each and every one of our tourists - not just some. The opinions these people express when they return home are extremely important to our town and our future.


The marketing of 'Australia's Coastal Wilderness' did not happen by accident. It took years of work by senior members of Sapphire Coast Tourism and the National Parks and Wildlife to get the recognition we have today. We must not jeopardise Eden's tourism potential by approving a wind farm with unsubstantiated economic benefits for the people of Eden and our local region.


It is no surprise that with unanimous approval, the Board of the Sapphire Coast Tourism has written to the Bega Valley Shire Council expressing their strong objection to this development (See letter attached).


Most reasonable citizens expect that we will witness the development of an eclectic set of more sustainable electricity generation over time. However it is important that this hotchpotch of politically driven development does not impact on other important industries or local community expectations.


If this proposal is approved then a precedent will be set and any coastal private land between Eden and Bermagui will be fair game for more wind farms - so much for our 'Coastal Wilderness' and the only existing local industry ever likely to survive the next 50 years!


Ed Chenery


Manager Eden Visitor Information Centre

Gateway to the Beautiful Sapphire Coast

Phone: 02 6496 1953 Fax: 02 6496 4425



ABN:  69 854 922 104