Wind farm opposition
I am writing to express my alarm at the ‘industrial-scale eyesore’ being created by the Salt Creek Wind Farm Transmission Towers in Terang and district. At community meeting in Noorat on March 21 attended by over 150 people, Clayton Delmarter from Tilt Renewable and Brett Wickham from Acciona completely failed to address the community issues raised. These concerns are as follows: Total disrespect for the communities and landscape with industrial scale power transmission lines running 50.5 km overground from the source. Many of the host landholders are now as dismayed and disillusioned about Tilt’s construction of huge 22-metre high ugly transmission towers as are the rest of the community. These galvanised steel transmission towers destroy the visual amenity and are out of proportion and unsympathetic to the volcanic plains. Tilt Renewable’s Mr Delmarter spoke of discussions with AusNet about “optimising” the tower construction - this equates to ‘maximising profit’ at the expense of the landscape and the community. Overground is a much cheaper option than underground. It is also a known fire hazard. We request these transmission towers are forced by Government regulation to go underground as recommended by the Black Saturday Royal Commission. The gas transmission line is underground for 70km from Port Campbell to Mortlake as is Wannon Water, another major utility. It is time these companies are controlled and answerable to communities. There must be a swift introduction of Government regulation enforcing the need to co-ordinate and share infrastructure. There must be a planned, co-ordinated approach to the multiple windfarm development and underground transmission lines. Our Western District landscape is at stake.
Jennifer Jackson, Terang
Put wind farms on hold
We are writing to express our concerns about the poor government planning regarding wind farm developments in Western Victoria. We are in favour of renewable energy and wish to supports its implementation but cannot believe the incompetence of the state and Federal governments in their planning for the establishment of wind farms. The Terang, Mortlake and Noorat community have become aware of this with the appearance of 30-metre high towers appearing with minimal or no warning from the Tilt Renewables Company. Acciona and other renewable companies will be adding their own power lines in the future. There are no government planning approvals that require companies to share power lines, consider reasonable road safety issues for poles, visual environmental degradation, loss of property values, reasonable distances of poles from houses, a reasonable number of wind farms allowable in one district, or fire safety recommendations coming from the Royal Commission into Bushfires that recommended all new power lines should be under ground. In light of the recent Western District grass fires we would have thought the underground recommendation for power lines would have been one of the minimal standards for wind farms. These issues have become more evident after a recent public meeting (22-3-2018) in Noorat where the National Wind farm Commissioner, representatives from Acciona and Tilt Renewables confirmed the lack of consultation with locals and lack of government approvals needed that would address our above concerns. We are asking the Victorian and Federal Government to immediately take responsibility for the planning and approval of appropriate environmental wind farms. All wind farms should be put on hold until this is done. It is not good enough to say we have ticked the box of developing renewable energy by allowing adhoc private development that is a degradation of the local landscape and people’s living conditions.
Yours for appropriate renewable energy,
Karen Jeffs and Shane Scally, Terang
I wonder if any of your readers would have a photo of William Watson Carter, who died in Port Fairy in 1879, and his daughter Harriett. William's great-grandson, William Watson Carter of Traralgon, died on the first day of the landing at Gallipoli in 1915. Not to be confused with William's grandson, also William Watson Carter of Port Fairy, whose name appears on the Port Fairy War Memorial and who survived WWI.
Jill Rodgers, Hurstbridge
Thanks for helping
I want to publicly thank the many volunteers and organisations who helped in the response to the south-west fires nearly two weeks ago. 100 kilometre per hour winds whipped the landscape into a blazing frenzy with locals literally escaping fireballs by just seconds. The fires destroyed 26 homes, 63 sheds and livestock were lost in the thousands. More than 2000 sheep – probably closer to 3000 – were destroyed. More than 1000 cattle died – 80 per cent of which were dairy cows. It is devastating. The animal losses, alone, are cruel – they represent not just the loss of that animal, but also the time and investment that went into them prior to the fires. The Cobden peat fire continues to cause disruptions and concern for the aged, young and those with vulnerable health conditions. Students in the area are either temporarily attending other schools safe from the peat impacts or are staying at home. 290 properties have been burnt, totalling around 15,000 hectares of land. There are 2000 kilometres of fencing that need to be replaced. 70 of the farms devastated by the fires were dairy farms. It is the first fire in Victorian to devastate an intensive agricultural area for some time – it has exposed the impacts of lack of power and water. We must help these farmers get back into action – and I thank those organisations, neighbours and volunteers who are already well involved in that process – including those who have supplied fodder. 120 farms have been the recipients of such generosity. While politicians parade at these times and love to be seen amongst the ashes, it is the nameless helpers, or the lifetime neighbours who deserve our thanks and praise. The people who give of themselves without need for thanks or fame are the ones who truly represent who we are - and who we want to be – as Australians. To those recovering from the loss, we wish you well, rest and resilience. We stand by to help.
Simon Ramsay MP,