Wind Industry Fraud & Corruption Exposed: Pacific Hydro & Acciona Defrauding the Commonwealth
Following up on Senator John Madigan’s brilliant exposé of criminal fraud and corruption in Australia’s wind industry, which we covered in this post:
Alan Jones went to town on his 2GB Breakfast Show that – some 2 million listeners tune in to – via 77 stations across the Country.
Alan has been belting the great wind power fraud since June 2013, calling all and sundry to account. And this interview with John Madigan is no exception. You can read the transcript that follows….
As a consequence of that this mad obsession with renewable energy, wind, solar which we can’t afford, which are many times dearer than coal-fired power. Which are killing manufacturing because they’ve increased massively the price of energy. And your electricity bills. As Terry McCrann said to me years ago, this represents a national suicide note.
Well on September 15th, Senator John Madigan rose in the Parliament, his opening sentence was this “Tonight I speak about corruption and fraud in the power generation industry”. Who cares? Corruption and fraud.
Now before I go to Senator Madigan, let me remind you of a simple example of that. There’s a wind farm down near Goulburn, the Gullen Range wind farm. Believe me it’s completely illegal. Owned by Chinese Company, Goldwind. 69 of its 73 turbines have been built in areas that weren’t approved. Some were more than 180 metres from their original positions. Many were within the 2 km limit of residential homes. But the government of New South Wales is recommending that the Planning Assessment Commission approve the turbines on the basis that, well the company had reached financial settlement with 2 aggrieved property owners. How gutless is government? Are we so committed to this renewable energy nonsense and so frightened of the Chinese, that they’ve erected turbines in breach of their licence and it’s just business as usual.
The Labour government, prior to O’Farrell, had signed off on this Chinese outfit Goldwind’s appointment of an independent environmental monitor to oversee the turbine placement. Swallowed that hook line and sinker. Without knowing that the so-called expert was a Director of a consultancy firm that actually worked on the wind farm’s development. So technically this mob say well, we had approval. Goldwind should be told to rip up the turbines. They’ve put them in place in breach of their licence simple as that. If you are driving a car in breach of your licence they’ll take you, your keys and your car away from you. The same should apply to this mob.
Well may Senator Madigan say “Tonight I speak about corruption and fraud in the power generation industry.” This is what he’s talking about. Only a week ago Graham Lloyd, the Environment editor of The Australian, Graham Lloyd is a fearless reporter and he wrote, all levels of government have been duped by sham compliance reports which have allowed major wind farms to breach noise limits and collect millions of dollars in subsidies, that’s your money. He was quoting John Madigan.
John Madigan has just blown the whistle on what he said was a corrupt system of wind farm noise assessments and he singled out International noise consultants, Marshall Day and its consultant Christophe Delaire, who have been involved in more than 50 wind farm projects. Senator Madigan told the Senate this outfit MDA , the consultants commercial arrangements with wind farm operators Acciona and Pacific Hydro, had “adversely impacted the independence of its reports and the legitimacy of its conclusions.” In other words, the so called independent consultant is tied up with the proponent. With the proponent. So it’s signs off for the proponent and as a result they qualify for your money.
Senator Madigan was speaking in support of a Labour recommendation in its dissenting report to the Senate inquiry into wind farms and health. That wind companies should use independent consultants to assess post-construction. Now that’s a keyword, post-, well hyphenated word, post-construction noise compliance. Now this is a scandal but don’t expect anyone down there, they’re all furry and fluffy and warm and fuzzy about renewable energy. Now we’ve got the global warming advocates in the saddle in Canberra, so it will be renewable energy at any price. And that means break the law.
You’ve heard me talk about the awful predicament of people living in the vicinity of these wind farms. Especially in Victoria. You’ve heard me say that if they weren’t injurious to health, well put them in Macquarie Street. Put them on Bondi Beach. Put them in Collins Street Melbourne. Queens Street Brisbane. I’ve had a million and one letters from people about the Cape Bridgwater wind farm in Victoria.
John Madigan said in the Parliament “In 2006 Marshall Day Acoustics, with the consultant Christophe Delaire, prepared a – and this is the other key phrase – pre-construction noise impact assessment for the Cape Bridgewater wind farm. Pre-construction. The report predicted that compliance could not be achieved at Cape Bridgewater wind farm without of a rating 13 of the 29 turbines in reduced operational noise modes.
Now just think for a moment, ‘oh god now what’s this got to do with me?’ just imagine if you were living here beside this stuff. People become refugees in their own homes. But this so called independent report said – compliance could not be achieved at Cape Bridgewater. That’s before they were built.
As Madigan said, Senator Madigan, “before it was even built, developers knew that this wind farm would operate in breach of its permit unless adjustments were made”. But Delaire told the Committee of Inquiry, “following measurements on-site it was found the noise optimisation was not required.”
Asks Senator Madigan, “How did Delaire’s expert pre-construction and post-construction reports come to draw such contrasting conclusions?” He answers his own question. He said “The answer is simple, Pacific Hydro did not noise optimise its turbines at Cape Bridgewater, because they knew they didn’t have to. They only had to commission a post-construction noise report to say the wind farm was compliant. On both occasions Pacific Hydro got exactly the report they wanted from Marshall Day Acoustics, but the compliance assessments were not compliant with the standard and neither were the reports.”
Is that corruption? John Madigan, Senator, is on the line. John Madigan good morning.
Senator John Madigan: Good morning Alan.
Alan Jones OM: You’re talking into an empty tank. Eh? Unbelievable.
Senator John Madigan: Yes Alan, its very disconcerting and with any project Alan, as you well know, there is little point in giving permission for a wind farm to operate under certain conditions, or any industrial plant unless compliance with those conditions can be demonstrated and that what we’re being told is correct, so that people can have faith.
Alan Jones OM: That’s it. To put it in lingo that the people who are listening to you, who don’t listen to wind farms understand, you are talking about corruption. If this was in the trade union movement, we’d have Royal Commission. In the trade union movement. Taking money from others to which they weren’t entitled. That is what this is about. Corruption in the union movement. Oh yes we’ll have a Royal commission. Here we have, in relation to wind farms, the developers knew the wind farm would be operating in breach of its permit unless adjustments were made but they were able to get a post-construction report which miraculously came to the opposite conclusion.
Senator John Madigan: It’s just gob-smacking Alan, and it is there for all to see. I suggest to your listeners that, you know that the speech that I gave in the Senate is there on Hansard, I suggest people go and read it. As you and I both know, Alan how litigious these people are.
Alan Jones OM: Oh yeah they’ve got plenty of money. Don’t this mob, don’t this mob, Marshall Day Acoustics, on their website boast, not Madigan’s words, not Jones’ words, but they boast “they’ve got a proven record of successful wind farm approvals”. In other words, get us to investigate it and we’ll get you the green light. We write it, we’re regarded as independent, we’re regarded as authoritative and governments swallow it hook, line and sinker ‘cos they are on the renewable energy gravy train. That’s the guts of it isn’t it?
Senator John Madigan: That’s pretty much what I’ve said Alan.
Alan Jones OM: And people are lying, people are lying, basically. There was a pre-construction report which said you’re going to have to change here you’re not going to compliant. The original report identified non-compliance at multiple homes and at every wind speed. That’s the original report pre-construction. That didn’t satisfy the client. So suddenly on the 22nd of July 2009 – and John Madigan told the Parliament this – the same mob, Marshall Day Acoustics, issued revised monthly reports for every house and every month – but those reports were to Pacific Hydro’s satisfaction. The exact opposite of what they’d originally found. It’s beyond belief. This is trade, this is Dyson Heydon revisited.
Senator John Madigan: It’s beyond belief. As you’ve said Alan, we hear a lot about corruption in the union movement. You and I know there there are disreputable unionists as has been proven. This needs to be, that needs to be stamped out. But so does corruption anywhere, wherever it be, politicians, wherever it be, local government, Councillors, wherever it be, a company, any sort of company, that is acting disreputably, or outside of the law, or taking people down, ripping people off, should be held to account.
Alan Jones OM: Absolutely.
Senator John Madigan: And you can’t say the corruption only exists in the union, because Alan, its everywhere.
Alan Jones OM: Correct. Correct. Now in 2006, I’ll just repeat, and analysis by this mob, Marshall Day Acoustics, this is about Cape Bridgewater, these poor people write to me every day, compliance with the standard (I won’t go into detail about the standard, it happens to be a New Zealand standard forget all that, that’s irrelevant). There is a standard which applies to the granting of the permit to have these wind turbines. Compliance could not be achieved at Cape Bridgewater without operating 13 of the 29 wind turbines in reduced noise modes. Reduce, you can’t, its non-compliant. But a post-construction report cleared the wind farm. And then the government accepts the post-construction must report, and your money, millions of dollars of your money, subsidy payments are made to the operators. And Marshall Day Acoustics Chief Executive Peter Fearnside, said in relation to Senator John Madigan, “we’ve decided not to respond to Madigan’s comments in the Senate”. I mean where on earth? And anyway John the other thing here is Tony Abbott rightly said he wasn’t going to chase Holden down the road with an open cheque book, why are we chasing these people down the road with an open cheque-book anyway?
Senator John Madigan: Well you know Alan, as you’ve pointed out this is a industry that receives millions of dollars from consumers, through higher power prices. Now why?
Alan Jones OM: On the basis of fraudulent reports.
Senator John Madigan: And with the car industry leaving Australia, Alan, as you know I’m a great supporter of Australian manufacturing and if you were to have a look at how much the car industry was receiving and then analysed the social and economic benefits that flowed from that back to government through tax receipts, skills for people, for apprentices.
Alan Jones OM: You could justify giving the car industry the money, but not this mob.
Senator John Madigan: Well you know as I say Alan very dubious social, economic and environmental outcomes.
Alan Jones OM: That’s it.
Senator John Madigan: And that’s me being polite.
Alan Jones OM: That’s being polite. It’s what you said at the start, it’s what you said at the start, of your speech, and you made a very emphatic statement at the start of the speech when you simply said, and I’m finding that those words again, what were they, you said the whole thing is corrupt. “Tonight I speak about corruption and fraud in the power generation industry.” Well Dyson Heyden is talking about it in the union movement.
John, we’ll keep at it. Don’t worry I have written and I am saying to you Josh Frydenberg, you’re the Minister for wind farms, you’re on notice, you’re on notice. And the first thing it you have to do is read Senator Madigan’s speech.
John Madigan thank you for the work you’re doing, it’s much appreciated.