The burghers of Collector rise up against Canberra’s wind farms

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A petition from Collector residents calling for the ACT Government to not sign an agreement with Ratch Australia for supply of wind energy to the ACT will be presented to the Assembly tomorrow by the Liberal Shadow Minister for the Environment, Nicole Lawder. This petition was signed by over 90% of the 150 adult residents of the Collector township.

Collector residents say they oppose the proposed industrial estate due to it destroying:

• their visual amenity – the proposed 150 metre high turbines will be on the escarpment (75 metres high) overlooking the town from a distance of 3-4km, thereby dominating all visual aspects of the town;

• the heritage and renowned beauty of its environment – recorded in iconic Australian literature and history – and shown in buildings, vegetation and unique landscape formations, – with associated attraction for tourists and residents – will lead to it being an outpost in an industrial estate;

• community harmony, since the proponent company, Ratchaburi Australia, rewards those with property hosting turbines, while not adequately compensating others, and has also been demonstrably dishonest in its dealings with the community.

In addition, due to the Upper Lachlan Council obliging Ratch Australia to use the Hume Highway junction with the proposed development for all traffic from the site, there will be no jobs or revenue from the building of the proposed development coming to Collector.

The people of Collector and district also note that the ACT Planning and Land Management (“PALM”) Act prohibits development on the hills of the ACT so that the character and setting of Canberra as the “Bush Capital’’ is preserved.

“The ACT Government’s proposed subsidising of windfarms which destroy the character and setting of adjacent communities like Collector is thus an act of hypocrisy, exploitation and contempt for our rights,” a spokesperson said.

“If the ACT Government wants wind energy without severely damaging adjacent communities, all it has to do is amend its PALM Act so it can have its own wind industrial estates in the ACT. We therefore call on the ACT Government to put these estates in the ACT and keep all the benefits for themselves.”

[Photo by Tumbling Run, attribution licence]

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