Australia’s PM – Tony Abbott – Out to STOP THESE THINGS
Australia’s PM, Tony Abbott has never had a soft spot for the wind industry (see our posts here and here). Now, he’s effectively set fire to its chances of obtaining the finance it needs to carpet Australia with another 2,500 giant fans. The match was lit on Alan Jones’ breakfast Show last Thursday.
Alan Jones Breakfast
11 June 2015
ALAN JONES: Now, you have just done a deal with the Labor Party over Renewable Energy Targets which I personally think are ridiculous. I don’t know how any Government could give a green light to wind power. You have got a Senate Inquiry into wind farms. It is an inquiry with all government and most crossbench support. It had its fifth public hearing yesterday.
Senator Leyonhjelm wrote yesterday and I have talked about this for years – quote, “it is beyond dispute that wind turbines emit infrasound and low frequency noise. It is well established that inappropriate levels of infrasound, regardless of the source, cause adverse health impacts. Since 1987,” he wrote, when Neil Kelley and I spoke about this a million times, “identified a direct cause or link between impulsive infrasound and low frequency noise had adverse effects on people.” He said, as part of the inquiry, “I have met these effected people, they tell me they mainly suffer from chronic sleep, some suffer from sinus pressure, tinnitus, pains in the chest, headaches, nausea and vertigo.”
Prime Minister, these people are refugees in their own homes. You have done a deal on Renewable Energy which includes wind power when there is a Senate Inquiry highlighting the deleterious effects these turbines are having on public health. When will someone in Government listen to these poor people and the problems they face? I mean if it didn’t effect health put them on top of parliament House, put them on Macquarie Street, put them on Parramatta Road.
PRIME MINISTER: Well, there are two issues here, Alan. One is the proximity of these things to people’s dwellings and I think that is a very important issues and the state government here in New South Wales, as I understand it, has increased the distance that these have got to be kept away from dwellings…
ALAN JONES: Not really.
PRIME MINISTER: … and the former Liberal Government in Victoria did likewise.
ALAN JONES: No.
PRIME MINISTER: Well, Alan, look, I do take your point about the potential health impact of these things. When I have been up close to these windfarms there’s no doubt not only are they visually awful but they make a lot of noise…
ALAN JONES: So, why are we allowing this? We have done a deal. Why are we allowing this? Leyonhjelm wrote yesterday, he said, “this all reminds me of big tobacco’s denials 50 years ago that cigarettes caused lung cancer.” They denied it. This is having deleterious effects on people’s health and no one, they have written to you, they have written to Sussan Ley, they don’t get an answer.
PRIME MINISTER: Well, I hope they get an answer from me because I do try to respond to the letters that I get.
ALAN JONES: So, what are you saying to these poor people?
PRIME MINISTER: The sites of these things is a matter for the state government.
ALAN JONES: It is!
PRIME MINISTER: What we did recently in the Senate was reduce, Alan, reduce capital R E D U C E, we reduce the number of these things that we are going to get in the future. Now, I would frankly have liked to reduce the number a lot more.
ALAN JONES: Good, well you are the boss.
PRIME MINISTER: We got the best deal we could out of the Senate and if we hadn’t had a deal, Alan, we would have been stuck with even more ofthese things.
ALAN JONES: Isn’t it fair to say, Prime Minister, if it such a good thing, I mean there are people listening to you now and they have got up at 5 o’clock they are only going to make $900 a week if they are lucky. They have rolled their sleeves up. You are not subsidising their little business whether they are breaking bread. Why are we subsidising China’s windfarm at Gullen Range which is illegal? Why?
PRIME MINISTER: Alan, this particular policy was a policy that was put in place in the late days of the Howard Government. Knowing what we know now I don’t think we would have gone down this path in this way. At the time we thought it was the right way forward. Sometimes you have got to deal with the situation that you have got rather than the ideal and what we have managed to do through this, admittedly imperfect but better than the alternative deal with the Senate is reduce the growth rate of this particular sector as much as the current Senate would allow us to do.
Alan Jones Breakfast, 2GB
Glad to see the PM using the correct terminology there (as highlighted)!!
But we have to pull the PM into gear over one or two furphies.
One is the claim that the impacts of the great wind power fraud are all the fault of the States. Without the Coalition’s latest $46 billion wind industry rescue package, there is no way any more of these things would be built, anywhere, FULL STOP:
Tony Abbott’s line that the “sites of these things is a matter for the state government” is a whole lot like the bloke that sells the sawn-off shotgun to an armed robber; and who then protests his innocence for what follows.
Sure, the illegal firearm vendor didn’t actually pull the trigger and send a bank teller for an unscheduled trip to the morgue. However, in the absence of the weapon supplied, there may have been no robbery – certainly not an “armed” one – and no harm done to bank tellers, in any event.
In the criminal law, the concept of liability for those who provide the arms to known bandits is picked up in the concepts of accessorial liability – the ol’ chestnuts about aiding and abetting, accessory before the fact and all that.
In this case, though, the Coalition is not only providing the weapon, from now until 2031 it will be supplying the offenders with an endless stream of ammunition – in the form of over 500 million Renewable Energy Certificates; designed to be worth over $90 – as young Gregory Hunt calls them: “a massive $93 per tonne carbon tax” – the $46 billion cost of which will be borne by all Australian power consumers.
Tony, the only way to stop “these things” is to disarm the bandits by killing the LRET now.
The other serious misconception popped up (and jumped on by AJ) is the nonsense that State governments have increased setback distances.
In South Australia – Australia’s wind power capital – it’s a derisory 1,000m. In Victoria, the lunatics from Labor recently cut theirs from 2km to 1,000m too. And Labor’s wind industry masters are pushing hard to do away with even that miniscule distance.
And if the PM thinks that 2km is a fair thing, he might like to pay attention to what Clive and Trina Gare told the Senate last week; viz.:
“towers should not be within five kilometres of residences, and I would personally not buy a house within 20 kilometres of a wind farm”.
And that’s not coming from your average “wind farm wing-nuts”. Oh no. The Gares have, so far, pocketed $1 million for hosting 19 of these things on their property since 2010:
But, hats off to the PM for recognising the adverse health effects suffered by the likes of the Gares – and hundreds of other Australians – forced to live next to these things: the most common and obvious of which is sleep deprivation caused by incessant turbine generated low-frequency noise and infrasound at night-time.
And, not afraid to go on with it, Tony Abbott backed it up with comments reported in The Australian.
RET deal ‘saved windfarm explosion’
13 June 2015
Tony Abbott claims the government was “right and proper” to scale back the renewable energy target, saying it had prevented an “explosion” of windfarms across the country.
The Prime Minister said the RET deal struck with the Senate — which resulted in the Coalition and Labor agreeing to lower the target from 41,000 gigawatt hours to 33,000GWh — was a good outcome.
“It’s right and proper that we have reduced the renewable energy target because, as things stood, there was going to be an explosion of these things right around our country,” he said.
“There will still be some growth, but it will be much less than it would otherwise have been thanks to measures that this government has taken.”
Mr Abbott also revealed his experience encountering an “ugly” wind turbine during a cycling trip on Western Australia’s Rottnest Island.
“I cycled around the island most mornings and my path took me almost directly under the big wind turbine which has been on Rottnest Island for some time,” Mr Abbott said.
“Now, up close, they’re ugly, they’re noisy and they may have all sorts of other impacts which I will leave to the scientists to study, and that’s why I think it’s right and proper that state governments should have increased the distance from habitations that these installations now need to keep.”
The comments come after the renewable energy sector and Labor reacted angrily to Mr Abbott’s claim he had wanted to further slash the growth of wind generation through negotiations on the RET scheme.
But he said what the government could achieve had been limited by a hostile Senate.
When asked if he supported Mr Abbott’s view that wind turbines were “visually awful”, Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he was “neutral” on their appeal.
“Look, I’d put it this way — beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” Mr Hunt said.
“I’m less fussed about them but I know there are many people who are concerned and they have a right to be heard and they have a right to be heard without those who don’t live with them in their backyards deriding them.”
He said he expected more wind power would be required to meet the government’s policy goal of having 20 per cent of energy production from renewable sources by 2020, but said solar was becoming “more competitive.”
Good to see young Gregory Hunt continuing to spread the lines fed to him by the wind industry plants and stooges that people his office – like Patrick Gibbons, who just happens to be best mates with Ken McAlpine, the head spruiker for struggling Danish fan maker, Vestas. Although, as events are unfolding, Hunt’s limp efforts at wind industry advocacy are likely to fall entirely flat.
You see, in the last week or so the response by the lunatics from the hard-green-left to the PM’s comments – laid out above – and efforts by the good Senators on the Inquiry to expose the scale and scope of the great wind power fraud (including recent media forays by David Leyonhjelm) – have been little short of hysterical.
STT couldn’t have asked for better. There is no easier battle to win, than the one that your enemies win for you.
Every time one of the wind industry’s parasites or spruikers chimes in with a rant about there being “no evidence …” or “the NHMRC said that …”, these idiots simply highlight the fact that there is a problem.
It’s a bit like police at the scene of a multiple car pileup telling passers-by that “there’s nothing to see here, move on”. The natural human response is to stand fast and gawp at the gore.
And so it is among the wind industry’s erstwhile “helpers”. The more they rant, the more they rave the more attention they attract to the carnage.
From STT’s perspective, the more attention the better. You see, the wind industry’s ability to roll out the 2,500 giant fans needed to satisfy the latest LRET doesn’t depend upon Alan Jones, Tony Abbott or David Leyonhjelm – it depends upon commercial lending institutions (ie banks).
With all the sound, fury and bloodletting taking place in the media on a daily basis, no banker in touch with their earthly senses is going to lend so much as a penny to a wind power outfit to build any new wind farms from here on. The insurmountable obstacle to that event can be summed up in a single word: RISK.
Whether or not the wind industry’s parasites and spruikers’ “case”, about there being no adverse health impacts from wind turbine noise stacks up, is neither here nor there.
What matters is the potential for wind power outfits to be sued by wind farm neighbours; or, of governments responding with increasingly stringent regulation on the operation of wind farms – such as shutting them down at night-time to let the neighbours sleep, say. And it’s the potential realisation of those facts, that will keep bankers from even considering lending any more money to wind power outfits, from here on in.
While there may not always be fire where there’s smoke, sometimes, smoke on its own, is more than enough to signal the risk that one might just get burnt.