Kermond, B. Submission to 2015 Select Committee on Wind Turbines
“We had only one option to avoid this sickness and that was to pack a few suitcases and find somewhere temporary to live until something was sorted out. Little did my family know that we would be living out of these suitcases for the next 6 years.”
Was a permanent resident of 107 Blowholes Road, Cape Bridgewater, Victoria for 14 years.
I am very thankful for those 14 years growing up there. It was an ideal home/ property to do life in for my father, mother, my older brother, myself and our pets. Dad and mum worked extremely hard keeping the house comfortable for us to live in. My brother and I had thirty acres of land to run amuck on and our most treasured of memories were made there.
When the construction of the windfarm started, I was not in any way against these machines. My father worked on the construction team and would come home and share with my brother and me the different stages of construction he was involved with. On my 13th birthday party he got all my friends to watch one tower being constructed and he talked us through the process. I could say that my father loved his job at first.
Once the wind towers were operating, the health of our family dog, scruffy, started to deteriorate rapidly. After many vet consultations and even a visit to one of the highest regarded vets in Victoria in Werribee, no diagnosis for Skruffy’s illness could be found. But what was asked of us by this leading vet was if anything had changed in our environment that we live in that could be causing stress on our dog. The only environmental change at that time was that the windfarm was active and operating. Not long after, Skruffy died. He was only 4 years old. My father, my mother, my brother and I all watched him die in our lounge room and we all felt helpless. All we could offer Skruffy was our tears.
Mum and Dad were the first to experience the common symptoms known to the many people that have also suffered like us. Later on I experienced the migraines, ear pressure, dizziness and the depression. We had only one option to avoid this sickness and that was to pack a few suitcases and find somewhere temporary to live until something was sorted out. Little did my family know that we would be living out of these suitcases for the next 6 years.
Those 6 years for me involved living in a caravan, living in a bus, living at generous family and friends houses/backyards. For my year 12 studies I lived with at that time, my 92 year old Grandpa. Grandpa had carers coming and going out of the house every day and so many other distractions which would Ifound difficult to block out while studying. In the time that I lived there I also witnessed grandpa having 2 heart attacks which he pulled through miraculously which was pretty heavy on my mind whilst living there. I passed year 12 and achieved the score I needed for my next few years at university. But it wasn’t a smooth sea to sail like the rest of my year level had.
I think the biggest toll this has had on my life is the mental/ emotional effect this whole situation has brought forth. I’ve slowly watched this battle eat away at my parent’s bodies, minds and spirits. Mum and dad put so much of their happiness, time, strength, effort, and money into our home at Cape Bridgewater. But when something comes along like a thief in the night and steals all of that joy away from you, you have no rock to stand on. I believe there is a nature in every man to feel like a failure when you can’t provide for your family any longer. I’ve seen this very nature destroy nearly every peace that was once in my father. There have been times of great anxiety when we have all not known where we were going to lay our heads at night. There have been times where I have had to be the strong one when my father and mother couldn’t cope. The youngest child, holding up the whole family at one point in time. It’s a hard and confusing time for a teenager to go through. Iwould have compassion on anyone that has or still is going through that sort of trauma.
I ask you, the reader to have compassion on our family, and the many families across Australia, to help give our lives back, to give my mum and dad a hope to live for and to bring an end to this dehumanisation.
Proverbs 31:8-10 New International Version (NIV)
- Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute
- Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy
May God open your ears, eyes and heart to the things more important.