Nicholson R. Windfarms & 21st Century – Letter to Editor

Rikki Nicholson, one of a number of Cape Bridgewater residents who have found it impossible to live in their sonically toxic homes since Pacific Hydro’s Cape Bridgewater Wind Farm was permitted, writes in favour of renewable energy to the local paper – 1997

Portland Observer –December 8th, 1997- Page 9

Letter to Editor

Windfarms & 21st Century

I live at Cape Bridgewater, strongly believe in alternative energies and will be totally surrounded by windmills if the proposed windfarm is constructed.

This will heavily impact on my initial choice of lifestyle which is set up as a peaceful organic market garden, based on a clean 100 per cent chemical free Permaculture system.

Although I support the windfarm concept I originally had many concerns. These included: noise; geological suitability of land for tower supports; effect on migratory birds and animals; land and vegetation degradation; and electrical magnetic radiation (EMR) to name a few.

After attending the public forum where I was able to speak with concerned residents, the project manager, (Mathew Rosser), view relevant videos, bird surveys and impact statements, I found most of my concerns had been answered or addressed.

A majority of residents felt that visual impact was the most pressing issue, i.e., “It’s a great idea but not in my backyard”.

Was this my main argument? Was I really that selfish? Okay, to some they may look out of place, but so do telegraph poles and mobile phone towers. How can we say that wind turbines are visually polluting when, with open arms, the community welcomes a fast food chain to our parklands and has a smelter which is lit up like a Christmas tree as our predominate landmark.

We are caretakers of this planet as we rent it from our children and while our government promotes coal fired generators which produce green house gases and acid rain there is an obvious alternative. It is time for us to stand up, be counted, be proud of where we live and promote Portland’s unique location and qualities. Imagine as one enters our great town a huge sign: Welcome to the birthplace of Victoria, the home of sustainable energy technologies, a McDonald’s free zone.

We have a moral obligation to meet binding international greenhouse targets. Let Portland showcase the rest of Australia how this can be done.

In short a windfarm will be the first of its kind in Victoria and will place Portland on the world map. If global warming concerns you then it is hypocritical to oppose EEC’s proposal. My only concern left unanswered at present is; does this projects location cause conflict with our Koori brothers and sisters in relation to sacred sites or Dreamtime stories?

One love, one world, one people.

Cape Bridgewater

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