South Gippsland
Victoria, Australia



submitted by Synergy Wind Pty Ltd

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Enter here for draft objection.

This document superseeds that loaded 7 July 2006.



# 502416

10 July, 2006


The Permit Application by Synergy Wind is poorly presented, disjointed, and thus awkward to read; a compilation of consultant reports, AusWEA promotional sheets, charts, maps and photo montages, interspaced with Synergy Wind comment. The following comments follow the sequence of documents as presented in the Permit Application. You will therefore find that this report is disjointed, just as is the Permit Application. 


Who has provided the information?
The name of Applicant on the Application for Planning Permit form, is entered as Synergy Wind Pty Ltd. It has been signed by private consultant Bill Barber who is a consultant to Synergy Wind.
Bill Barber is a member of William G. Barber and Associates, of Traralgon, Victoria, whose letterhead indicates ‘Regional Business Strategies'. It was Bill Barber who represented Synergy Wind at their ‘open day' in Yarram in December 2005.
 Surely it is not admissible to have a consultant sign an Application for Planning Permit for a $40 million project. There is no indication of who is Synergy Wind Pty Ltd, with no identification of personnel nor responsible officer. Signing on behalf of the applicant is one thing, but not knowing who the applicant is, is another matter. Surely the question of accountability is important. 

There is no financial or legal documents presented as to the existence of Synergy Wind Pty Ltd, and as to their ownership. It is understood that Synergy Wind Pty Ltd is ownbed by German interests with a start-up capitl of $200

Question to Council:
 Is council concerned with the financial viability and responsibility of any commercial applicant who wishes to construct an industrial complex on rural land , and in particular reference to a project that is claimed to cost $40 million. 

The ‘Notice of an application for planning permit', sent to the neighbours is also not clearly identified. It is  signed above the name Synergy Wind Pty Ltd, but no individual's name is offered. We are left to presume that it is Project Manager, Christian Spitzner, with whom we are yet to meet. Overall, this notice to neighbouring residents, as required by the Wellington Shire, is totally unsatisfactory, being inept in its content and most unprofessionally and carelessly presented.


Two or More Dwellings. Page 2. 
"There is a possibility that a 10m x 10m transformer station will need to be erected on site".
The transformer would be erected on the south side of Ingles Road, west of Stiney Creek bridge, on property owned by N.Davis. The transformer station would be 160 metres from the Stone/Bouker property. There are no details provided on noise levels caused by the transmission station, which hs been annecdotally indicated as beingt a cnstant ‘hum'. 

Question to Council.
Will the erection of such a transformer station require a separate application permit considering that there are no details presented for this structure within this application. Alternatively, if permission to erect the transformer station is to remain within this application, will council reject this Permit Application and be asking for site details, and construction details to be subsequently submitted with a new application.

Industrial. Page 2. 
"Not applicable - construction of wind farm only."
 A wind farm is an industrial complex. It certainly is not a rural application. The generally accepted euphemism of "wind farm" is mispleading. One does not 'farm' the wind. A farm is "land in which crops or animals are raised'. To farm means 'to work on or operate a farm'. (Collins Australian Dictionary). Amusingly, Christian Spitzner of Synergy Wind used the term "wind park", which, perhaps, is more appropriate. Wind Turbine Complex is a more appropriate name, a WTC. In Europe, it appears that turbines are referred to a Wind Energy Converters, WECs. This is relevant in that the terminology is used by German-based consultants in this Permit Application. Synergy Wind appear to prefer Wind Turbine Generator, WTG. 

Question to Council.
Does the council accept the fact that the proposed windfarm land is classified rural, that a Wind Turbine Generation ‘windfarm' is not a rural activity and is an industrial activity which does not come under current accepted or defined use of rural land.

Throughout the application, Synergy Wind make statements of what they will do and what will happen in respect to the construction and operation of the windfarm. 

Question to Council:
 What measures and procedures are in place to ensure that all Synergy Wind promises as documented within th Permit Application, are kept, and if not kept, what procedures are in place to ensure that such violations of the permit will be rectified, and appropriate penalties applied. 

Council has posed a number of questions to Synergy Wind which the company attempts to answer in the Permit Application. These should be considered when studying the document. 

One question by Council, re Landscape and Visual Assessment, needs to be considered in detail as it appears that Synergy Wind have not answered the question in full. 

This eighteen page document was also sent to selected neighbouring property landowners.

Page 3, Item 6, Adjoining Land Ownership.
(*a) "Site adjacent to state forest and rural grazing areas". 
No mention of private residences, nor corporation-owned (pine) forestry land. This omission is also noticed in the maps provided. No mention of ownership of private, non-farming, residences. 

Page 3, Item 7, Adjoining Land Use. 
(*b) "Adjoining uses are rural. Few houses adjoining the wind farm site".
This is a totally misleading statement. Whereas the word ‘few' is open to interpretation, it gives the impression that ‘few' people will be affected by the windfarm. Synergy Wind are well aware that the windfarm site is inappropriately located next to a residential strip containing no less than thirty houses, with many more off adjoining roads.  Synergy Wind is clearly trying to give the impression that the proposed windfarm is isolated in a rural area where is only affects ‘few' houses.

Question to Council.
 Is Council satisfied with these statements, *a and *b above, by Synergy Wind, which is clearly misleading. 

Page 3, Item 8, Site Area and Turbine Location.
"The nine turbine wind farm was also chosen so that the amenity of neighbours will not be unreasonably affected".
Again, another misleading comment. It must be stressed that no executive nor staff of Synergy Wind have consulted directly with any resident owner whose property borders the proposed windfarm, and hence it begs the question as to how Synergy Wind has managed to determine how "neighbours will not be unreasonably affected". At least Synergy Wind is admitting that neighbours will be affected in some manner, and it demonstrates the arrogance of Synergy Wind in determining for themselves what is reasonable and what is not. Synergy Wind are, through this communication, expressing how unprofessional they are in preparing their Permit Application,  and how ignorant (or unconcerned) they are of community concerns. 

Question to Council relative the consultation process is listed below.

Page 4, Item 9, Electrical Grid Connection.
"... 8.5 km of new line required..."
The location of the line is not indicated in the material sent to neighbours, however is included in the Permit Application.

Page 4, Item 11, Noise.
"Only two dwellings within 500m but no dwellings within the strict noise contours of the ANZ standard AS/NZ 6808. Reports from experts that we are within specified limits".
The comment gives the impression that "only two dwellings", which are within the 500 metre radius, will be affected by noise. It fails to mention any proposed residences whose construction is on hold (Bain/Dohnt). It makes the presumption that any residence beyond 500 m will not be affected by noise. 
There is further mention of noise later in the Permit Application.
Synergy Wind conveniently offer no indication of what action they will take if noise levels are unacceptable to  neighbours, irrespective of documented standards. Synergy Wind infer that there will be noise but offer no indication of what the increase in noise level, over ambient levels, may be. 

Page 4, Item 13, Shadow Flicker.
"In the case that a house would be affected by shadow flicker, the offending turbine would be programmed to shut down for the duration that this problem otherwise occur". 
Synergy Wind offer no confidence that they would actually do this, nor how they would do it. It would be a true optimist who believes that as soon as the flicker shadow affects a residence, that Synergy Wind would ‘turn off' the turbine. Synergy Wind offer no indication how this would be controlled. If by programming to automatically stop the turbine, why has Synergy Wind not attended to this already, and given clear indication of the residences so affected. Synergy Wind know where the turbine towers will be placed, know where the residences are, and can thus deduce where flicker will be problem by a knowledge of the sun's position during any time of the day and season of the year. If such a study had been done, Synergy Wind should so advise, indicating which residences are affected, and by which turbines. Synergy Wind have given no assurance of what redress the neighbour may have if the promised action of stopping a turbine is not achieved. 
There is further information on shadow flicker later in the Permit Application.

Question to Council relevant to flicker is indicated below. 

Page 4, Item 14, Electromagnetic Interference.
"No direct microwave transmission line of sight installations. Two dwellings within 500m".
This comment needs clarification. Does it mean that only two dwellings will be affected?. It is generally  understood that at least two residences will be directly in line with the turbines and Mount Tassie where television signals originate. It appears that Synergy Wind have given little consideration to this event. 

Question to Council.
 Will Council seek assurances from Synergy Wind that no residence will be affected by the construction of the proposed windfarm. 

Page 5, Item 15, Visual Impact. 
"Site is not within a significant viewing area and not within any direct views to any features of visual significance". 
How presumptuous of Synergy Wind to make such a judgement on our behalf. To the local community, the view is most significant, and Synergy Wind are well aware that it is the view that has attracted most of the residents to the area. It is another example of Synergy Wind arrogance in not considering in any way the feelings of the local community. 
"The site is encompassed by two no-through roads and a state forest".
Incorrect. It is not a state forest - it is a commercial plantation. Also, both Ingles Road and Bolgers Road are not ‘no through' roads. 

Page 10, Map.
Although the map is provided to show land contours of the site, only five turbines are shown.
It is significant to note that this map, with its five turbines (not nine) was sent by Synergy Wind  to some neighbours in 2005. 

Page 12, Map.
Only five turbines shown.

Page 13, Cultural Features.
Synergy Wind state that a study by the Gippsland Cultural Heritage Unit at Sale recommended that an overseer be on site when each foundation is dug "to ascertain if there were any artefacts therein". Synergy Wind mention the report, but do not indicate that they will indeed advise or encourage such an overseer onto the construction site.

Page 17, Map.
Map provided in the Permit Application is barely legible. Same map provided in documentation to neighbour's is readable. 
The is titled, ".. showing the wind turbine layout and dwellings within a 2000 metre radius of the site". The map is clearly incorrect, with only a dozen houses indicated within a kilometre, and with many houses omitted (and sheds shown as dwellings). The location of several houses is incorrect, and some existing houses not shown. A farm shed and a dairy is shown as dwellings. Mistakes can occur, but this demonstrates that Synergy Wind have given scant concern to the accuracy of their submission, particularly when they have been advised of the errors. The map does not indicate any proposed dwellings. 
It is interesting to note that the site of one proposed dwelling would be within one hundred metres of a turbine (Bain/Dohnt property) and the sites for other existing dwellings are within 285 metres, 365 metres, 520 metres, and with a further nine existing homes within 900 metres. So much for Synergy Wind's assertion that there are few neighbouring residences.

Page 18, Summary. 
There is no indication by Synergy Wind as to the noise levels emanated from sub-station, which is known to  generate noise. This is of vital importance to the nearest residence which is 160 metres distant. . 


Photo montage.
The significant point here is that the photo were taken in April 2005; Synergy Wind have been requested to provide montages from significant locations for the past six months, yet none have been provided. 
Note that Synergy Wind provide no montages from residential properties, specifically from those residences and proposed residences within 500 metres. This would give a much more dramatic indication of the intrusion of the 120 metre towns so close to a dwelling.
The photo montage showing the shed and house, shows only six turbines. (The house is that of the Reakes family. The Lynch family residence is to the left, out of the picture, and closer to the turbines). 
The photo montage with the tree is taken from Ingles Road, and shows only seven turbines. The Stone/Bouker residence is to the left, out of the picture. 

Temporary Site Facilities - Plan
Note the construction of a work site area complete with car park, between Bolgers Road and WTG # 1.The Construction Site will be 300 metres from the Heibert property on Bolgers Road. 

Questions for Council. 
 What restrictions and procedures are in place to ensure the least disruption to neighbouring properties as a result of the location of the construction site, viz noise, traffic, dust, vehicle pollution? 
 Is council concerned that the site, on rural land, will be used for construction and assembly of the towers and blades, with its incumbent noise and dust polution, on rural land?

Development Plan - Plan
Note that three kilometres of maintenance track will scar the land. All maintenance tracks will be accessed by one entrance from Bolgers Road. 
Note that the scale indicated on the map is incorrect. The scale shown should be doubled. Note that the grid is one kilometre.

This is a planning document indicating what should be done, not what will be done. It is imperative that the tasks agreed to be undertaken by Synergy Wind are adhered to, hence measures to measure such tasks must be in place. In some instances, neighbouring property owners will be able to measure and report on such tasks, such as construction operation hours, dust control, noise. 

Page 6. Noise.
Note that construction times are set down as from 7.00am to 6.00pm week days, and 7.00am to 1.00pm on Saturdays.

Question to Council.
 What procedures will be implemented to ensure that these times are not exceeded, and what procedure should be followed in order to report a breach of any of the activities as laid down by Synergy Wind in the Planning Application.

Page 7. Traffic. 
Mention is made of mobile concrete batch plants to be located at Devon North. There is no indication as to where these will be located. Factors such as noise and dust, and general disruption, have not been mentioned. 

Question to Council.
 Will Council seek advice as to the manner of use of these ‘mobile concrete batch plants', with respect to their noise and dust pollution. 

Page 8. Decommissioning.
 Comment: What is to stop Synergy Wind "doing a runner" when the windfarm is no longer financially viable? 
 Determine today's cost to decommission and dismantle the windfarm. Obtain this amount from Synergy Wind, and place in an interest bearing account. Pay Synergy Wind appropriate interest, less administration, less inflation costs, such that at the end of any period there are sufficient funds to dismantle the windfarm. 

Question to Council:
 What measures will council put in place to ensure that Synergy Wind complies with their responsibilities in "at least 25 years" time, when the windfarm may be decommissioned. 

Note the amount of expected traffic during construction times:
 - 35 concrete and building vehicles
 - up to 18 heavy lorries for crane erection
 - approx 10-12 heavy lorries with turbine components
 - max. vehicle length 40 m.
 - max. overall weight 130 tonnes.

What is the meaning of these figures?. Does it indicte the number of actual vehicles used, which is immaterial. There are no statistics as to the traffic frequency of of Bolgers Road. It is estimated that some four hundred concerete-truck journeys will be required on Bolgers Road. 

Connection to the main grid will come off the windfarm property at the south-east corner of the property (thus at the bridge over Stoney Creek on Ingles Road), and then SSW across Davis property, turning ESE to join the main 66kV grid at what appears to be the intersection at the end of Church Road with Old Whitelaws Track and Davis Road. 
The transformation station is to be located on Ingles Road, west of the Stoney Creek bridge. No noise figures have been presented. This is of concern to the Stone/Bouker property which is within 160 metres of the exit point from the windfarm property.

Question to Council:
 As Synergy Wind have not given any details of the transformer station, nor any indication of the noise generated from such a station, what procedures will be implemented to ensure that neighbouring houses (specifically the Stone/Bouker property within 160 metres) will not be disrupted by the continual humming noise of the station. 

This covers specific licenses and requirements in order to connect to the grid, and is of little concern to neighbours except for those within proximity of the transformer, and those landholders on which the connecting cables will be constructed. 

It is interesting to see a 'Preliminary (Works) Program', whereby construction is expected to commence in April 2006, and completed in April 2007. 

It is interesting to note that the connecting cabling from the windfarm to the 66kVA grid, will cross over the main Jack River telephone line servicing all of Devon North.

Question to Council.
 Is council concerned that the connecting line may cause interference with the telephone services to Devon North?


Once again, the map provided  is incorrect with respect to the location of houses.
Of particular interest:
There is a table (of potential visual impact sites), showing the location of dwellings and specific details of dwelling windows, sizes, height, and a comment as to whether the 'Wind Farm (is) Visible' from the dwelling. 
Property B (Stone/Bouker) has indication that NO, the windfarm will not be visible.
Likewise, NO visibility from properties G (Heibert), F (Reakes), E (Lynch), I (Strobel), J (Jung),  M (Burgoyne), and O (Handley).
These are clearly incorrect. Properties B and H, two of the closest to any WTG tower, will be have a severe visual impact. Synergy Wind are no doubt aware of this. Also, it is obvious that if property H (Harrington) has visual intrusion, then certainly property G (Heibert) will have worse - a brief visit to the location will recognise this. 

Question Council:
 Is Council concerned abouut the inaccuracy of the map and would Council consider having Synergy Wind provide the correct information before further consideration of the Application Permit? 

Note: A plan, provided later in the application, indicating visual impact within a two kilometre radius of the windfarm, clearly shows that, for example, property B (Stone/Bouker) will see all nine turbines. (It is accepted that even this is not true, as some turbines will be hidden by vegetation). 
It begs the question as to how Synergy Wind knew the exact dimensions of the windows on my property (B). Have they trespassed on my land in order to make measurements? The relevant windows face north and north-west, with no visual access from any public point, nor the Helleren property. If they have not entered the various properties, how do they know of the window dimensions? 


The Wind Energy Ready Reckoner sheet is totally misleading. Irrespective of any judgement on the veracity of the data, the numerical values are incorrect in so far as our Australian standards of numerical expression is concerned, and it appears that a European standard has been used. Where a comma should be used to delineate a thousand, a full-stop has been used, ie 107.081 trees should read 107,081 trees. Likewise, where a decimal point should be used, it has been substituted with a comma, ie 7,36% should read 7.36%. This begs the question as to the concern of Synergy Wind to provide information that is within our common understanding. As to the veracity of the data, it must be questioned how 16,569 cars will be ‘taken off the road'. 


This document (pages not numbered) includes a clearer, larger copy of the table of  visual impact sites as mentioned previously. 
Of the fifteen 'sites' listed, only five are indicated as 'Wind Farm Visible'; one of these is the windfarm property, and one does not exist (but is possibly meant to be the Neiss property at Five Ways).
These blatant errors indicate some doubt as to the credibility of the consultants report, and should have been picked up by Synergy Wind.

It is important to note that report indicates: '... the visibility of the windfarm is prominent within a 2 km radius'. And, ... the visibility decreases over 6km, 15km, 20km. And ...' those areas where only part of the windfarm can be seen decreases with distance...'. 
 It appears that visual impact study is not an exact science!!  The bottom line is that the report is clearly in error; whether this is by design or incompetence is hard to say. And what is the relevance of including photographs of the Toora Windfarm?

 Only two montages have been presented - one from Bolgers road east of the Reakes property, one from Ingles Road east of the Stone/Bouker property. No montages have been prepared from any residences, which would thus clearly define the visual impact. The AusWea standards clearly state: '.. developers are required to prepare photomontages of how the wind farm will appear from (these) vantage points. These photomontages can also play an important role in the community consultation process.' Synergy Wind have clearly demonstrated their inability to consult with the community, so it is to be expected that they would not be concerned in providing photomontages  from the residences most affect. They were certainly asked on several occasions to do so, with each request ignored. 

Prepared by consultant Biosis Research.
An extensive report of 37 pages which, in reality, says nothing specific in respect to the actual environment situation at Devon North. 
On Birds, it indicates what should be done to observe bird life. The suggests that DEH (presume meaning DSE) should do a study. 
On Bats, it states: 'Bat monitoring can only indicate levels of bat activity on the site and utilisation/risk assessment cannot be calculated for this group'. So that leaves them out of consideration.
Summary as stated by Synergy Wind:
'The site does not support habitat that is considered important for any threatened fauna species'.

- Much of the report is based on overseas studies, and provides extracts from overseas scientific papers.
- No mention of Powerful Owl, nor Wedge-Tailed Eagle.
- Swift's Parrot (endangered) is a 'rare visitor'. (How this was determined is not indicated).

See later document, Bird Utilisation Study.

Consultant Report prepared by DLC, of Germany.
This is a complex report of seventeen pages. 
Once again it utilises the incorrect house placement provided by Synergy Wind as per maps previously mentioned, whereby some houses are missing, others so indicated do not exist. Noise level figures and graphs are provided for five properties (one the windfarm residence), where sound monitors were established in 2005. The neighbouring properties are B (Stone/Bouker), E (Lynch), G (Heibert), M (Forder). Figures for other properties have been interpolated from the monitored residences. 
In summary, as indicated by Synergy Wind:
- the noise level at the monitored neighbouring residences will be below the standard adopted by the Victorian government, (NZS 6808). 
- the Hellerens will have the highest noise impact 

It is clear that several residences will be above the accepted noise standard level, for both ‘worst case' and ‘real' scenarios.

Question to Council.
 Will Council reject the Permit Application on the grounds that the expected noise levels will exceed the accepted Victorian government standards. 

Consultant Report by Biosis Research, seventeen pages.

Of note:
- bat activity is highest in spring and early summer, yet study conducted in autumn (April)
- study conducted using an Anabat ultrasonic detector, operating from 1730 to 0700 hours, over eight days
- five species of bats identified, another four species presumed.
- conclusion: bat activity in the vicinity of the proposed turbines is low. However, some mortality of locally common species may still occur. 
- real figures can only be provided by counting the dead bats after installation.

Consultants: Brett Lane and Associates. Twenty-six page report. Extensive use of tables of birds observed. Extensive use of overseas reports, and also brief details of experience on four Australian windfarm sites. 

Summary, as presented by Synergy Wind:
- birds observed and counted for fifteen minutes at a time at eight sites, over ten days.
- no species of national, state or regional significance was observed.
- recognition that turbine blades do kill birds, but '.... generally (they are) able to avoid collisions and do not simply fly into wind turbines'.
- site lies within the territory of one pair of Wedge-Tailed Eagles, 'which used the site with very low frequency during the (five day) bird utilisation surveys.
- expected bird mortality for the Devon North windfarm is 9 to 36 birds a year, non of which are a threatened species. 

Consultants document the presence of a pair of Wedge-Tailed Eagles. These are frequently observed by residents.

Question to Council.
 As a proposed windfarm in central Victoria was recently refused by the Victroian Government because of the presence of a pair of Wedge-Tailed Eagles, would this not set a precedent for the Permit Application for the Devon North windfarm to be rejected. 


Littman Consultancy of Germany.
Under the heading ‘legal statement', is the statement:
It is understood that any forecast based on computational simulation without the possibility of on-site verification ... cannot be guaranteed... (My italics).
Does this mean that the study was done without visiting the site? Possibly so, based on basic data provided by Synergy Wind. One has to question the credibility of the study by D.L.C Consulting, a German company (mentioned in respect that Synergy Wind is German-owned), and also the credibility of Synergy Wind in presenting a ‘study' that has not attracted an examination of the site.

The map included in the study is the incorrect map included in several places within the Permit Application; DLC provides shadow flicker for non-existent residences and cow sheds. Included with the report is the aforementioned table that indicates that several marked houses will NOT be able to see the windfarm. And yet the report indicates that these same houses are indeed affected by shadow flicker. 

The data presented is based on the sunshine hours for Melbourne, some 200 km west of the windfarm site. Devon North is in the same ‘climatic belt' as Melbourne but does not have the same  day to day weather patterns. The study also uses wind values determined from the East Sale airport. 

The report presents several pages of what is defined as the ‘worst case scenario', then promptly denounces these figures as bing unrealistic and should be dismissed. Then why present them? The alternative ‘real case scenario', seems to be based on an adjustment to the ‘worst case scenario' figures. Be that as it may, both figures should be considered.

The report presents both the (estimated) number of shadow flicker hours per year for each marked property, for both the ‘worst case' and real scenarios. 

Of the first six marked building locations, the average ‘worst case' scenario is 124 days of the year with shadow flicker, averaging 43 hours per year, at .393 hours per day (23.6 minutes). The same buildings attract an average figure of 11.76 hours per year under the ‘real case' scenario. There  are no figures presented for the average number of hours per day of shadow flicker under the rea; case scenario. 

Note that the Australian standard of what is ‘acceptable', is set at 30 hours per year. Clearly, many residences will exceed this figure under the ‘worst case' scenario, but, conveniently, are under in the ‘real case' scenario. It begs the question as to how the real case scenario is determined. 

Several homes however will be over the accepted standard, both in ‘worst case' and ‘real' terms.

Note again Synergy Winds statement in Site Analysis and Design Purpose, Page 4, Item 13, Shadow Flicker.
"In the case that a house would be affected by shadow flicker, the offending turbine would be programmed to shut down for the duration that this problem otherwise occur". 

Question to Council.
 Is Council satisfied with the figures presented in the Permit Application in respect to shadow flicker, consider the base dta (from Melbourne and Sale) is not accurately representative of conditions at Devon North.
 Is Council satisfied with the procedures in place to ensure that Synergy Wind will actually close down a WTG when the resultant flicker from that WTG affects a residence? 


In a letter from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, to Christian Spitzner of Synergy Wind, 5 September 2005, the following statement is made:

Based on the information provided to CASA, the planned wind farm will be a hazard to the operations of aircraft due to the elevation of the turbine tips being above 110 metres AGL, and up to 120 metres AGL. Therefore a determination will be made in accordance with Part 139.370 of the CASR, that the proposed Yarram Wind Farm will be hazard.

Note that Synergy Wind state that the closest airfields are not affected by (the) proposal. (Site Analysis and Design Purpose, page 5).

It is interesting to note that CASA mentions the adequacy of lighting provisions ‘to ensure the safety of air navigation'. The possibility of having the turbine towers ‘lit-up', has not been considered before, and would be another visual intrusion. 

Question to Council.
 Is council concerned about the concerns expressed by CASA, and will these be considered in their determination of the Permit Application.


It is to be stressed that at no time has any immediate neighbour had any direct consultation with the Project Manager Christian Spitzner, who has indeed refused, in writing or by ignoring invitations, to meet with the neighbours. The limit of their ‘consultation' has been documentation sent 7 September 2005 advising of their intentions to construct a windfarm, and correspondence 3 July 2006 giving notice of the application for a planning permit. 

An ‘open day' on 16 December 2005, was conducted by consultant Bill Barber. Project Manager Christian Spitzner may have been in attendance, but if so his presence was not announced, and thus there was no ‘consultative process' with any executive nor staff of Synergy Wind Pty Ltd.

Barber reports in a letter to John Traa, Team Leader-Statutory Planning, Wellington Shire, 19 December 2005, that eighteen people visited the open day and ‘were given an overview and information'. It must be stressed that very little ‘information' was made available other than the hand-out of AusWEA promotional brochures. Specific questions that I, with three others, asked, were frequently not answered as Barber simply did not have the answers. Christian Spitzner, Project Manager for Synrgy Wind, did not present at the ‘open day'. 

The letter indicates also that Colleen Murphy, Environment Planner, Wellington Shire, attended and ‘she appeared satisfied with information supplied by Synergy Wind'. Discussions with Murphy on shire policy, benefits and concerns of windfarms, and the proposed location of the windfarm generated what could only be described as a non-informative stance and the comment "I like windfarms'. So much for the consultative process. (Ms. Murphy is no longer with Wellington Shire).

Barber also writes:
‘It would appear on balance that given the amount of publicity and the response, that the Open Day provided those who were interested, an opportunity make representations to the company.'

Synergy Wind have indicated that their ‘community responsibility' ended with the ‘open day', and Spitzner has refused to speak in person to anyone concerned about the proposed windfarm. The conduct of Synergy Wind as ‘a good corporate citizen', as quoted by Barber, is arrogant, and Synergy Wind have even defied the AusWEA standards of hat is deemed to be ‘community consultative process'.

By including the docuemtns presented within the Permit Application, Synergy Wind are attempting to persuade that they have adequately consulted with neighbouring residents.

Question to Council.
 Is Council satisfied that Synergy Wind have adequately and professionally consulted with neighbouring property owners, and given consideration to their concerns, prior to submitting the Permit Application. 


Advice is given that a meeting was held between Ms Susan Taylor of DSE, Ms Colleen Murphy of Wellington Shire, and Mr Daniel Gilmore of Biosis Research, to discuss environmental issues,. The conclusion, as per the document in the Permit Application, to the question (does) the Minister require an Environmental Effects Statement, is "not applicable". The meaning of this is not clear.

An interesting note. There was a fourth person who attended this meeting, a male of European nationality, who. although he did offer a name when questioned, the reply was incomprehensible, possibly because of the language barrier. Who was this mysterious person who sat quietly at the back of the room taking copious notes during the ‘open day', but who did not offer an introduction until so requested by visitors? Could it have been Synergy Wind's illusive Project Manager, Christian Spitzner.Spitzner claims to have been present at the ‘open day'.  If present, why did he not make his presence known?


"There are no existing buildings, including farmhouses and farm out buildings, located in close proximity to the proposed location of the wind turbines.."
Really!! This generalised and incorrect comment defies credibility. 

"The wind turbines are located well away from any land boundaries, including rural roads..."
‘Well away', ? What can one say? How can Synergy Wind say that a turbine tower within 50 metres of Bolgers Road is ‘well away'. How can more than a dozen private residences, clearly to be affected by noise, flicker, visual intrusion, traffic disruption, and construction noise be regarded as bing ‘well away' from the windfarm? 

Question to Council.
 Is Council satisfied with the generalised and unqualified statements that are presented in the formal Permit Application.


Dated 16 December 2005, this is a duplicate of the same document as previously included in the Permit Application, and is the same as the letter from Synergy Wind to some neighbours, dated 7 September 2005.


From the Office of the Premier, 2 November 2005.
From Auswind: Wind energy industry welcomes Victorian renewable energy scheme, 2 November 2005. 
(Of course they do. Auswind is AusWEA).

Note that as of early 2005, Synergy Wind was not a member of AusWEA, yet they always used their promotional brochures, and have avoided a close adherance to their quidelines.

And finally, seemingly as an afterthought:


Correspondence from Bill Barber to ‘Rob' of ‘Culture Heritage'. 
(Rob Doultat, Gippsland Cultural Heritage Unit).

Question to Council.
 Will Council implement measures to ensure that a cultural adviser is present on the construction site during any excavation?


Question to Council.
Is Council satisfied with the overall standard of the Permit Application, in that it provides all the data required in order for Council to make a decision on its approval or otherwise, and in that it can be understood by the resident/ratepayer? 
If Council is not  satisfied with the standard for such an application,  will council request Synergy Wind to resubmit a Permit Application with all, and correct, data. 



Consider your own situation, and how the windfarm will affect you. Try and be as precise as possible - don't say you object because you dont like the look of windfarms. Indicate why you may find them visually intrusive, for example. Objections to council require no specific format, but do list out clearly your objections and the reasons why you object. Remember the deadline. Have your objection in at the Yarram (or Sale) offices by the end of July. Do see the Permit Application, available at Yarram or Sale, or see Ian Stewart. Don't feel intimidated at writing down your objections; the shire is not looking for a Booker Prize winner. Don't emotionally criticise the wind energy company, the landowners, the shire nor the government. Your feelings towards these groups is irrelevant insofar as your objection to the permit application is concerned. However, if there is an issue that is relevant to these groups, indicate clearly what the issue is, and state your concern, but make sure that it reflects on the reason for your objection to the planning permit. Make it clear as to just what you are objecting to, and why. The format of: subject heading - preamble - stated objection, seems to be acceptable. Feel free to make any comment on an issue, and keep the actual objection succinct and clear. Ensure your name and address is on the document. Annonymous objections cannot be accepted by council. 

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