Tasmanian Times

Economy

Shock at wind farm plan for Bruny

I can reveal the first sketchy details of secret plans of a private company to build wind turbines on Woodcutters Point, Bruny Island.

Woodcutters Point has a commanding position on the D’entrecasteaux Channel opposite Oyster Cove.

The wind turbines—huge structures—would fundamentally alter the whole nature of the Channel for locals, shackies, fishermen, yachties, daytrippers and tourists.

The site, as well as being highly visible from considerable distances up and down the Channel, on Bruny, and from the mainland of Tasmania, is listed on the Tasmanian Heritage Register* as ‘a key location in early conciliation efforts between settlers and Aborigines and the site of a rare post-1843 sod hut.’

According to Heritage Tasmania, ‘the area played a key role in Lt-Gov Arthur’s attempt to ‘conciliate’ the Tasmanian Aboriginal population, beginning with the Nuononne people, members of a wider south-east tribe, in the late 1820s.’

Bruny Island is famed for its birdlife, attracting birdwatchers from around the world.

Wind turbines, famed for slicing up birds, can only have a disastrous impact. There is also the question of noise and the growing issue of infrasound, the sub-audible but damaging soundwaves emitted by wind turbines.

And what of the growing tourist potential of Bruny? How will the idea of this pristine island at the end of the world be reconciled with this gigantic industrial infrastructure?

Do readers know any more details? Please tell TT readers if you do … and background readers on wind farms in general.

image

**Pictures: Rob Walls: Wind farm: Albany 26 April
And,

Yet another mind-mill this one from South Australia:

image

*Tasmanian Heritage Register:
http://www.heritage.tas.gov.au/showItem.php?id=865

Some background:

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53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Russell

    June 15, 2011 at 11:59 am

    Re #60
    Then that would be the solution. Provide or restore the raptor habitat and put the turbines where historically there is none. Simple, instead of just saying no.

    How much does the Bruny wind farm cost and how many alternatively installed standalone household solar/wind hybrids would this represent?

  2. Andrew Wadsley

    June 14, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    #59 The habitat in the UK has remained the same for a very long time. It’s just that raptors like soaring where winds lift up over hills, usually with very little tree cover. This is also where wind turbines are ideally placed.

    The raptor habitat has been lost, but in this case to wind turbines, and sharing that habitat results in birds being killed by the turbine blades.

  3. Russell

    June 14, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    Re #22
    “1200 kilometres an hour.”

    I find that extremely difficult to believe.

    Nevertheless, if they are crashing into the blades, why can’t something be done to stop that? For instance, provide enough habitat elsewhere where they will stay. I think you’ll find your raptors have been wiped out more as a result of habitat loss than crashing into wind turbine blades.

  4. Michael Swanton

    June 14, 2011 at 11:28 am

    #57. Prior to Basslink the other energy requirements to hydro was Bell Bay and King Island with the use of diesel. The Basslink rationale was to export energy. You have a recurrent failure to comprehend the possibility of alternative energy with waves. You have conveniently side stepped the source of the need, and how to address that, humans. Michael Swanton.

  5. Bruni d'Entrecasteaux

    June 13, 2011 at 8:51 pm

    The future isn’t just about how we produce energy but how we manage the energy we make.

    In Tasmania 70 per cent of our power is sold at below cost to two companies – Nyrstar and Comalco – which between them employ 800 people.

    All other Tasmanian businesses and domestic consumers subsidise those 800 jobs with their electricity bills.

    And in consequence Tasmanians import filthy brown cola power from the mainland.

    Would it not be wiser to close those two industries down, create new jobs with the surplus and future proof our green energy system?

  6. Michael Swanton

    June 13, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    #54.”How many Tasmanians will think of Loy Yang power station ( Vic ) when they have a hot shower or cook tomorrow?” Sums it up beautifully. What about a non return valve?
    Wind turbines just like humans look pretty benign too. You know the rare and endangered homo sapien that this insatiable energy need requires.
    This State prior to basslink had no need to import energy. Wake up! Michael Swanton.

  7. Michael Swanton

    June 12, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    # 52. Not right this minute no. However give it time and the resources and capacity Carl!
    Michael Swanton.

  8. Carl Hippman

    June 12, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    Totally agree with Wave and Geothermal, bring it ALL on. Still won’t replace base load power thought will it….Michael

  9. Michael Swanton

    June 12, 2011 at 10:15 pm

    #45. I did a quick google on centrifuges in the world. I could not find anything useful in Iran or North Korea. Obviously doesnt exist.
    Michael Swanton.

  10. Michael Swanton

    June 12, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    #49.Heard of wave energy? Heard of geothermal?
    Waving not drowning! Imagine! Michael Swanton.

  11. Carl

    June 12, 2011 at 9:46 pm

    There seems to be much debate over wind power/solar power. I for one am in favour of both of these. We don’t get as much sunshine down here in Tassie as on the mainland but our wind resource is one of the best in the world. There is room for both but in appropriate places, especially for wind farms.
    There should however be more debate about Nuclear power as most of those in the political arena are saying there can NEVER be enough Renewables to take the place of base load power from coal stations. Maybe true but something that can take the place away from Coal power stations and give us emmission free, abundant energy is Nuclear. Unfortunately the events at Fukushima in japan have scared many people in the world of Nuclear and probably rightly so but those plants in Japan were old and are in an area where Tsunamis, earthquakes etc are common.
    In Australia however we have a huge outback where one or two ‘very modern’ plants could be built using Australian labour and supplied with Australian Uranium (I have an interest in Energy Resources Australia by the way). Water was piped to Kalgoorlie from Perth so it can be piped to wherever the Nuclear plant is from some desalination plant, again using Australian materials and labour with the permission of Aboriginal owners whose land is traversed with the pipe or electrical grids. In return the Aboriginals can work in conjunction, get water that is being piped from coastal region at tap off points and energy from the plant, again at tap off points.
    The water can also be used to green or water the outback and start agricultural projects to sustain Australia as a foodbowl. Just look at the greening and agricultural events happening in the Middle East.
    Yes, all of this takes money. Money which both private, and government sources can supply. If we use Australian materials NOT CHINESE, just imagine it. If the material isn’t available in Australia then build and start the industry here in Australia, make it for that purpose which could then eventually be exported. Just imagine

  12. Neil Smith

    June 12, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Pensive (#42) says “If this was done, it would become obvious that SAVING energy in a serious way would solve most of the problems without opportunist investors grabbing the next best chance to make easy money”.

    Yes, I wanted to say this too. But the idea of using less energy seems to be a bridge too far for most Australians. My arguments re wind farms are on a less contentious scale.

    But without proper attention to energy economies for all of us, the dreams of those who want a big expansion of the wind industry are just that. Feelgood dreams. We are unlikely to displace even one coal-fired pwer station. Hardly saving the world.

  13. Neil Smith

    June 12, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Re Waubra: Ballarat residents are not affected because it’s too far away. The sickness causing mechanism (probably airborne infrasound, but possibly also seismically-transmitted vibration) is localised.

    Conclusion no 1 (from the industry point of view): put the turbines far enough from big centres of population that the only people affected are a few relatively-inarticulate farming families. Then most people will either not have heard of the problems, or not care, so we won’t have to field widespread complaints.

    We will also keep most greenies who have heard of the problems onside. They’ll argue that saving the world from climate change is important enough that a few thousand people as collateral damage don’t matter.

    Alternative conclusion (I’d favour it): Localised, that’s good. How localised? Maybe a bit of proper research (independent of wind companies who of course just want to get on with it) might quantify this. 1km? 2km? 5km? (It’s probably not this simple – the transmission of infrasound probably varies with terrain type – but this too can be worked out if we just try.)

    Can wind farms be sited properly so that we can use the renewable energy source without harming anyone? Probably. Can turbine design be modified to reduce emissions and so reduce allowable setbacks? Maybe. Both aims are worth a try.

    When people suffered lead poisoning from automotive exhausts we didn’t abolish cars, but we didn’t just keep poisoning kids either. The government mandated the change to unleaded petrol. The car industry marched on. The only difference with wind farms is that those affected are a small part of the population. I think we are being unfair on them.

  14. Peter Brenner

    June 12, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Rob Walls 43, has anyone on TT “argued for inaction”?

    I for one keep asking for the contrary: Action! But systematic, informed and focused on a durable result!

    What do I meant by this? It is a matter for Government to keep up to speed with fundamental problems such as food and energy “security”, social inclusion, biodiversity, education, health, population growth and many more.

    Here is a scenario: A national Government signs up to the commitments of the environmental UN Conference in Rio early 90s (biodiversity, sustainability -> UN Habitat Local Agenda 21 etc). The parliament ratifies the commitments. They become law. The state governments of this nations make sure the laws get implemented. In doing so they instruct the local governments to work out ways on the ground to transform the lofty goals into reality.

    Local governments charge their professional staff to work out practical solutions to be presented to the people for endorsement through a popular vote once the council has passed them. The Council staff – in order to realise the ambitious task – propose and succeed with a complete reshuffle of departmental responsibilities and modes of interdepartmental co-operation (the old ways were recognised as being deficient).

    Plans for major improvements of such central issues as mobility (public transport, traffic, parity of all mobility participants, biodiversity in public space, social inclusion etc) are worked out by the departments, ratified by local government and implementation plans drawn up.

    All this is accompanied by ongoing, friendly and humorous information campaigns and democratically endorsed financing plans. The implementation plan addresses everything from design to use and regular assessment (not of the self congratulatory variety)

    The public knows what will happen within the next ten years and people can see that it is thoroughly worked through. First results are convincing and the time that all this takes to realise is understood and becomes part of public education.

    This is, in a nutshell, how important energy issues such as wind farms (shall we, or shall we not erect; if so, where, how big, how many or possibly what else instead) should be dealt with. Accurate public information, the presentation of alternatives and the inclusion of the informed public in the process is part of a durable approach to such questions.

    A hand to mouth approach with the “either-or” threat is food for cowboy developers.

    Can you see any “inaction” in such a scenario, Rob Walls and others?

  15. Steve

    June 12, 2011 at 1:50 am

    “I did a quick google search of the Waubra wind farm and couldn’t find any complaints in Ballarat so I’d suggest the claims made in #27 re subsonics impacting on all of Bruny are unfounded. ”

    Yep that’s it. If it doesn’t Google, it doesn’t exist!

  16. Rob Walls

    June 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    No matter the issue today there will always be those able to come up with an articulately expressed downside that argues for inaction because of some apparent negative value that supposedly outweighs all the positives. For example the issue of lead and cadmium in solar panels; the sub-sonic “noise” from wind farms; the damage caused to the environment caused by damming rivers for hydro-electricity.

    If we are looking for consensus on the issue of alternative energy the apparent outcome from the comments here can only be paralysis of the will and subsequently inaction.

    The answer? Who knows? Extinction of the human race? Maybe that’s the inevitable outcome…and will it really matter as this blue planet spins inexorably on and perhaps heals itself without us?

  17. Pensive

    June 11, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    “if you are arguing against wind energy then you are arg(u)ing FOR fossil fuels, nuclear or large scale hydro.”, says Shaun 39.

    If you don’t want native forests to be trashed then you must have Plantation Isle with THE Pulp Mill.

    If you don’t want to invade Iraq with us then you are our enemy.

    Please, people, calm down.

    There are shades of gray and colour out there. And technologies keep on developing at an ever greater speed.

    So, analysing the needs, evaluating appropriate responses, followed by comprehensive, integrated planning would be the way to approach the energy supply situation.

    If this was done, it would become obvious that SAVING energy in a serious way would solve most of the problems without opportunist investors grabbing the next best chance to make easy money.

    There was a very impressive Green Peace travelling exhibition in Europe a few years ago, which made the point convincingly that NO new power plants of any sort would be needed if we became serious about improving efficiency all over.

    And no, it was not an austerity programme that was proposed.

  18. Stephan

    June 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Neil Post #28

    I agree that that technology shows promise. The “footprint” of a viable installation though would still impact on an environment whereever it may be. Besides which, the “core” of the technology is also VERY toxic.

    The human element in this complex and complicated equation means that shortcuts taken will impact lives if not environments. We always seem to take the easy way out and I’m no different.

    I’ve been wondering why Kim P hasn’t put his two cents in about the potential of microwaved power from space. 🙂 A super microwave laser from space being taken over by a hostile power or simple hacker scares the willies out of me.

  19. max

    June 11, 2011 at 12:56 am

    Australia is the ideal country to start a hydrogen economy. With huge tides in Northern Australia power could be produced cheaply, turned into hydrogen, piped to Perth and turned back to electricity through a fuel cell and the by product is pure water that the city needs. Wind, tidal, solar and river flows can be harnessed long distances from human habitation and as hydrogen unlike electricity can be piped long distances with out loss we could be come free of carbon pollution and the only by product is pure water. Unlike other gasses that are heavier than air and are dangerous to handle, hydrogen rises rapidly and disperses into the air. The added bonus is the water can be sold as distilled water.

  20. Siriana

    June 10, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    More power to #1.

    The comments on this page are a great debate with a lot of food for thought and for the most part people have focused on the issue; a nice achievement for TasTimes.

    I agree that everything has to be done to stop birds being killed, including a strategic statewide analysis to identify areas to prohibit wind farm developments.

    However, if you believe the science on climate change by far the biggest threat to birds and all other wildlife is global warming.

    If you believe the science on climate change shouldn’t we be doing everything we can do decarbonise our economy? There is gulf between people saying they believe in climate change and being willing to do anything about it.

    I don’t know enough about he sonic impacts to comment on that but will look into it.

    I did a quick google search of the Waubra wind farm and couldn’t find any complaints in Ballarat so I’d suggest the claims made in #27 re subsonics impacting on all of Bruny are unfounded.

  21. Greg James

    June 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    I notice that the spin of the blades in Europe is clockwise, just like water down a plug hole, could this be the reason that they seem to introduce sickness in the southern hemisphere.
    Just a thought, we are in the southern hemisphere and as I recollect about the flow of energy…it goes the other way.

  22. Michael Swanton

    June 10, 2011 at 9:21 pm

    #36. All this would need is the Development of State Significance stamp and it would be a fait accompli. Imagine a football sponsored wind farm complete with appropriate team colours?
    Michael Swanton.

  23. Mike

    June 10, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Bruny is an obvious place for Wind Farms.
    Infact it is an ideal location.
    The question that hasnt been raised is where else on Bruny could the WF be sited? I could think of a few good spots.

  24. Kathryn Barnsley

    June 10, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    This proposal is within a few kilometers of the retirement and holiday homes of more than two dozen environmental activists, including writers, artists, university academics, bureaucrats, ministerial advisers, doctors, builders a retired lecturer or two or three, and teachers and many of them are closely associated with politcal parties of all persuasions.

    My guess is it has as much chance of being built as a nuclear power plant next to St. Davids Cathedral.

  25. Helen Hutchinson

    June 10, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    The evidence concerning the health impacts of wind turbines is growing daily and the danger to bird life has been noted regularly. The visual impact of wind turbines is obviously in the eye of the beholder.

    In this debate, the most important elements are the siting of wind generators, and the necessity for regulations to be promulgated to control new windfarm sites at the local government, national and federal levels.

    If this is done, taking into consideration the issues raised in the contributions above, then the necessary mix of wind power into alternative energy systems could be managed.

  26. Neil Smith

    June 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Stephan (#28) “where then and what?”.

    Probably large scale solar thermal with molten salt storage, located several kilometres from habitation near places like Mildura, Parkes, Broken Hill, Port Augusta etc – even if transmission infrastructure does need significant upgrading.

    Australian group Beyond Zero Emissions has just 12 such installations as the centrepiece of its stationary energy plan:

    http://media.beyondzeroemissions.org/ZCA2020_Stationary_Energy_Synopsis_v1.pdf

    And, yes, wind farms. BZE is not (yet) critical of their health aspects, and they do represent a mature technology capable of immediate expansion without the scale of government support needed to get large-scale solar thermal going here.

    But wind development does need to be done honestly with full realisation and disclosure of the potential downside by all government bodies concerned. There are obviously sites available remote from human habitation (even if possibly not quite as ideal from the windiness and/or transmission cost point of view). And there may be clever engineering solutions to the infrasound problem if only the appropriate research was properly funded.

    Wind might be OK, supplementing solar thermal, but its early establishment in SA and Victoria (and elsewhere) has shown that there are problems. At the current point in time we need a bit of a halt and we need proper scientific and engineering inputs. What we don’t need is another rapacious industry and the sweeping of important concerns under the carpet.

  27. Neil Smith

    June 10, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    The wind farm stuff is really murky. As Peter Brenner says: “It may surprise you, but wind farms belong into the category of wood chipping and fish farming”.

    If you don’t think so, it would pay to do a bit of homework rather than shoot from the hip.

    We have the possibly unprecedented situation where a big (and relentlessly expanding) industry has large numbers of greenies as their most staunch allies. Not the bird strike greenies, but the “just do it” renewable energy greenies. Some of their simplistic Senate submissions make a scientifically inclined (or simply even-minded) person cringe.

    We also have major conflicts of conscience in honest individuals who have for years been totally convinced of the urgent need for renewable energy development to replace earth-destroying polluting coal-fired power – but now see the real effects on the health of considerable numbers of rural people, and in the process learn of some quite despicable behind-the-scenes behaviour by big companies and certain government entities.

    Make no mistake, we have industry players here who are motivated in exactly the same way as the Gays and L’Estranges and British American Tobaccos of this world. With plenty of lobbyists and skilled lawyers on tap.

    The health effects can be permanent and totally debilitating for those who remain in the area. Those who, in desperation, decide to sell the multi-generational farm they inhabit generally find only one buyer – the wind company, who not only offer an insultingly low price but also impose a gag agreement in order to keep the lid on this stuff for as long as they can.

    Another interesting feature of the scene is that the present Senate inquiry was initiated by one Senator Steve Fielding. Quite possibly, one might think, in an attempt to discredit one of the paths being followed by those who believe in human-induced climate change. No that’s a bit hard – he must certainly have been approached by a multitude of Victorians who have been made sick, but maybe his path was clear because he sees nothing particularly desirable about renewable energy anyway.

    It can be strange sometimes who one’s friends are. And aren’t.

  28. Stephan

    June 10, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Here we sit at our keyboards innured of the technological progress that got us to where we are. The dawning recognition that we’re slowly (or is that quickly) killing ourselves with the effluvium of coal fired power stations has set us to looking for alternatives to fuel our energy rich lives.

    Only, we discover that many (All?) have their own risks and bad sides. Nuclear, touted by many as a “clean” alternative, leaves a generations long legacy of pollutants so toxic that a “leak” scares the sh*t out of the world. So the alternative? Sack cloth and ashes?

    Bruny makes good sense from an energy return given the conditions there (yes, I live in the Huon) but has esthetic and environmental down sides for many.

    The detractors say “not here”. My question; “Where then and what?”

  29. Peter Brenner

    June 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Please introduce a bit of reality into the discussion on wind farms.

    Typical wind generator blades range from 40-90 m diameter. If they turn at around 17 revs per minute the wing tips reach speeds between about 130 km/h with 40 meter diameter blades, and 290 km/h with 90 meter diameter blades.

    Given that there are three blades, one of these objects of several tones in weight zooms past every 1.2 seconds at a speeds of 130km/h to 290km/h. So much for the parrots having a ride on them as some proponents suggest.

    Wind generators in sensitive areas are artificially slowed down to tip speeds of around 60km/h to limit noise. And by the way the noise of a wind generator is quite frightening. All the more so around dozens or hundreds of them.

    Their immediate technical impact on the environment is not as cute and harmless as some proponents have us believe.

    The visual impact is also not negligible. Particularly at night. The towers are equipped with VERY strong, incessantly flashing lights that disturb the night sky even from a great distance. Shocking to see your familiar and unique skyline turned into a unremittingly thumping and flashing industrial site. Day in, day out. Year in, year out.

    Let’s face it: We are simply looking at another profitable technological quick fix and, here in Tasmania, the usual developer driven push for anything that promises to return a quick and easy buck.

    Spend the same amount of brain and dollar power on systematic energy SAVING and there will be real progress towards reducing green house gas emission and the natural environment will not be devastated by these insidious machines.

    Some smaller versions of wind generators may be ok on a lone farm for local use, but not in industrial size and quantity.

    I daresay large scale wind generators are an antiquated quick fix industry that looks increasingly silly in the light of wave generation and other cleverer technologies.

    And finally, there should be a comprehensive, integrated energy management plan worked out and constantly updated as more knowledge comes to light, before we let this new cowboy industry ride roughshod over our landscape.

    It may surprise you, but wind farms belong into the category of wood chipping and fish farming.

  30. Neil Smith

    June 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Anyone interested in the state of the current debate on the social and economic (including health) impacts of wind farms in Australia might like to look at the website of the current Senate inquiry into the subject, due to report next Tuesday.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/clac_ctte/impact_rural_wind_farms/index.htm

    There are over 1000 submissions and five days of public hearing transcripts, ranging from the “we need them, renewable energy is so essential, I just know there can’t be any evidence that they cause harm” variety – to some quite learned contributions assessing the horror stories coming from those people living near them who have had their lives turned upside down. Some of such people that is. Others are prevented by gag agreements with wind companies from saying anything.

    There is an urgent need for research into just how and why some people get so sick (probably from infrasound), and hopefully into finding engineering solutions – BEFORE the damn things keep proliferating across the rural landscape.

    As pretty as they may be to some eyes, I don’t want one within 10km of my house unless and until the health problems are fixed, and I don’t think anyone else should either. Somewhere around 5% of us are going to be the unlucky ones.

    Shortly we will find out whether the Senate committee is going to come out on the side of the precautionary principle – and a healthy society and fairness for everyone – or whether we have a case of yet another powerful industry getting the wink-wink and ordinary people becoming collateral damage.

  31. Robin Halton

    June 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    #1 Dr Bradbury, you have gone down in my estimation! You know that I supported with your Blackwood Plantation proposal, next you are suggesting that FT should be looking at the way NZ manages its forests, you actually mentioned your ex FT mate’s name, Paul Nicholls who is Forest Manager for Rayonier/Taswood! Havent you a clue what happened in Scottsdale to the softwood sawmilling industry, that was dirty and nasty business involving FT and JV partner GMO and forest manager Rayonier disguised as NZ-Taswood. Leave NZ out of FT business.
    Why are you are by supporting Wind Farms on Bruny. Visitors and locals alike cherish the unique coastal landscape of Bruny.
    Imagine the shock for the folk crossing on the Ferry from Kettering to Roberts Point having to view these monstrosities dominating the coastal landscape where the area is frequented by locals, recreationalists and visitors looking for an experience involving natural landscape close to our capital city!
    Gordon you will get no support for this stupid idea, so forget it.

  32. Michael Swanton

    June 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm

    #16 re #4. Or is it the property council of Australia?
    I can never distinguish between the two.
    Michael Swanton.

  33. max

    June 9, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    8 # Russell. the danger to birds from wind turbines is the deceptive tip speed, 300 to 1200 kilometres per hour depending on wind speed. A big leafless tree which birds may think these are doesn’t have branches travelling at 1200 kilometres an hour. We kill birds with noisy cars but I have never reached 300 kilometres an hour and a car is a lot more visible than the thin tip of a turbine blade. For some reason constant noise does not alarm birds or animals or they wouldn’t damage our cars so often.

  34. Andrew Wadsley

    June 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    IN the UK where wind-turbines have been installed, all of the large raptors have disappeared.

    While wind-turbines are a carbon-free alternative to power generation, surely we can generate low carbon electricity without destroying other species? Ethically, we are wrong to implement “solutions” which only satisfy human needs at the expense of other animals and the environment. There are other alternatives: for example, solar-thermal is carbon-free, has only a small land footprint, and doesn’t take out raptors.

  35. Dan Yelp

    June 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    If you were really worried about birds, you’d be banning cars and loggers from Bruny.

  36. munrohull

    June 9, 2011 at 8:30 pm

    Unbelieveable! SA has forged ahead with wind power and leads Australia in the production of non-hydro renewable energy.

    People against wind farms are either stooges for the fossil fuel lobby or NIMBYs of the worst order.

  37. Stephani of Rowella

    June 9, 2011 at 7:19 pm

    I’ll swap you, you can have a pulp mill down there and I will have a windfram outside my window

  38. Michael Swanton

    June 9, 2011 at 7:10 pm

    #4. Why don’t you put your mask aside real estate institute of Tasmania? Michael Swanton.

  39. allegra Biggs Dale

    June 9, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    Carbon costs to manufacture turbines, health conditions arising from the farms sharing boundaries with community members and costs associated therein, maintenance expense and common structural failures, incorrect positioning and the impact to birdlife both permanent and migratory are my concerns. We shouldn’t accept the trade offs when our bird population numbers are dropping dramatically in Tasmania, in my view not even one bird is worth the exchange.
    The Bruny Island Medical Centre’s windmill is strapped down due to wind sheer, a common feature of turbines. This was a waste of taxpayer funds when a comprehensive solar array alternative with associated engineering would have provided a reliable and quiet energy source even on a cloudy day as we have seen over twenty years on our property. The medical facility is now back on track providing a peaceful space, one required for folks seeking healing rather than being wound up as they await their doctor’s appointment.

  40. Estelle Ross

    June 9, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    Daylesford/Hepburn small towns in Victoria took the plunge and considered installing wind turbines back in 2008. There was interest from some and opposition from many. So they formed a community owned company and took the locals on a bus trip to check out another wind power set up and the protestors were pleasantly surprised. Now 7 years later the scheme is up and running. Info at
    http://www.theage.com.au/environment/the-winds-of-change-20080701-303d.html and
    http://hepburnwind.com.au

  41. Gabby

    June 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    I agree with you dr bradley it sure beats a wood fired power station in the tamar valley

  42. Bird Lover

    June 9, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    Google the endangered Forty Spotted pardalote. This proposal is in the middle of its habitat.

  43. John Biggs

    June 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    #1 Agreed. We have to do something with replacing coal and coal gas, and the horrors associated with fracking. Nuclear is out now, surely. So it’s renewables, but when wind farms are proposed we get these objections. It’s a matter of cost-benefits; the visual effects, danger to birds, “noise” (what noise?) are costs to be sure, but the benefits are far greater. Anyway, I was once driving from Yosemite to SF and came across a vast stretch of wind turbines near Livermore: it was in itself a splendid sight!

  44. Rob Walls

    June 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Like Dr Bradbury, I too find windfarms visually appealing. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in recent weeks photographing them in Victoria and South Australia, even getting out of bed early to photograph them at sunrise.

    I suspect that a lot of the objection to them is a knee-jerk reaction from those who can’t appreciate their sleek visual appeal.

    To me, they are a modern equivalent of the windmills that grace the scenery of innumerable Dutch landscape paintings of the 17th Century. I wonder what mindset existed in Holland at the time? Did the Dutch burgher, anti-windmill sector suffer from the sub-audible sound waves emitted by their turbines?

  45. Russell

    June 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    …and narrow-minded.

  46. Russell

    June 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

    “Wind turbines, famed for slicing up birds, can only have a disastrous impact. There is also the question of noise and the growing issue of infrasound, the sub-audible but damaging soundwaves emitted by wind turbines.”

    What a load of crap!

    If birds couldn’t hear or see the ‘huge’ and ‘noisy’ turbines then they must be smashing into leafless dead trees all the time.

    I think you’ll also find the turbines will be more of a tourist attraction than not.

    Then again, if you want to keep paying for ever-increasing dirty brown-coal electricity and killing off the earth you live on, go ahead and be unrealistically selfish.

  47. Suzie Jacobson

    June 9, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Dr Bradbury, as a fifth generation Bruny Islander who has walked over woodcutters point since a child I can honestly say it is not the NIMBY tactic that is fuelling my distaste for this senseless plan. It is concern for the sea eagles that regularly use this point for their dramatic aerodynamic swoops. It is my knowledge of the natural amphitheatre setting that will amplify noise from the windfarm along the D’Entrecasteaux channel to Woodbridge and beyond and it my conviction that given the availabilty of other far more suitable land in Tasmania how ludicrous such a proposal at Woodcutters would be.

  48. Valleywatcher

    June 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    I agree with you, Gordon. I find wind turbines rather beautiful, graceful and elegant. I’ve seen vast acreages of them at work in California – they are actually a breathtaking spectacle when you come upon them unexpectedly……….hundreds of them all dancing in unison.

  49. Cantankerous old biddy

    June 9, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Usually I like wind farms – but this one will be in the path of the forty spotted pardalote. This is wrong. It must be stopped.

  50. mary

    June 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    #1 Great reply. It is so tiresome to have some antis turn out the minute something is vaguely floated. Then you have people wondering why the developers try to keep things quiet. Turns into a vicious circle.

  51. Michael Swanton

    June 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    #1.”Yes raise our concerns, and then lets work through them”. Just like eagles working their way through a set of rotating blades. Just like Woolnorth. Michael Swanton.

  52. Shan Welham

    June 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    Dr Bradbury, with respect, I think the NIMBY’s of the world have a case when such proposals bring uncertainty regarding their continued right to peaceful enjoyment of their homes, land and surroundings. You may not have any issue with the visual amenity of wind turbines, but do you live near one? I don’t, so I don’t have personal experience of what the effects are. My partner and I were very surprised at how close they are to homes in the Victorian countryside and how they impact the landscape when travelling around that lovely area last weekend. I’m therefore not willing to dismiss the claims of the people who do have them in close proximity and look forward to reading the results of the upcoming NHMRC and Senate inquiries.

    http://www.abc.net.au/rural/content/2011/s3239888.htm

  53. Dr Gordon Bradbury

    June 9, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Personally I don’t see why people get so upset by windfarms. I haven’t seen an ugly one yet, and I’ve seen quite a few around Australia. In fact I find them visually appealing. Yes there are environmental issues that need to be addressed, but compared to gas/coal power stations and hydro dams they are very benign.

    Let’s try and adopt a more constructive approach to this proposal rather that the usual blocking NIMBY tactic. Yes raise our concerns, and then let’s work through them.

    Cheers.

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