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Thursday, 26 March  2009  Wind Farm

Go to New South Wales, to a small town called Taralga. It's a lovely little town, but one that's divided over a new development in the area.

LORRAINE ROSS: We're looking at seeing what our options are and we will fight. You don't lay down for speculators.

GEOFF SIMS: Oh it's a picturesque little place, nestled comfortably among the hills. Picturesque. Note, that doesn't mean harmonious. The conditional consent given to a developer for a wind farm here has put a cat among the parrots.

PAUL MISKELLY: Community division has already occurred here. There are some who speak of those of us who object to this as simply being sour grapes, that we're not getting any money for it so we're not going to get anybody else get any money for it.

GEOFF SIMS: Is there no truth in that?

JULIE ALDERS: Not really. I think I will be affected by not only the noise, I think visual will be. I'm also very concerned about the shadow flicker and, well, the noise when the wind changes.

PAUL MISKELLY: The swish, swish, swish noise from a wind farm can become a thump, thump, thump sound, and it's there all the time that the wind is blowing, and if you're trying to sleep at night, it's relentless.

PAUL MISKELLY: Most of us regard the district as a windy place but the southern coastline of Australia and particularly those parts of Tasmania, Cape Grim facing the Roaring 40s, are a much better wind resource.

GEOFF SIMS: That would place them in someone else's backyard, of course, though still provide no answer to their claims that the blades of the huge turbines would mince birds and bats but that wouldn't happen here. The Planning Department has come up with a fairly drastic plan to keep the birds out of harm's way.

Some local people are concerned about one of the development conditions. It says that, to prevent damage to birds by the turbine propellers, all dams in the vicinity should be filled in, and "all dams in the vicinity" could mean just about every one. Pity if you happen to have any livestock or crops that rely on dams.

JOHN COOMBS: Wind power is not the solution to the energy crisis in the world. It is not the solution.

GEOFF SIMS: Councillor John Coombs, resident of nearby Laggan, and best known as the wharfies' leader in the Patrick dispute in 1998, says what the opponents want to hear.

JOHN COOMBS: These farms shouldn't be built if the community don't want them. That's what - that's what Campbell said.

GEOFF SIMS: But they admit they've put all their objections on the table already.

PAUL MISKELLY: The only redress or recourse that we have now is to appeal the decision before the Land and Environment Court, and, as we understand it, it's called a Class One appeal, and what we can appeal - only - is whether the minister's decision is a just decision or not.

GEOFF SIMS: But they believe they have the moral high ground.

PAUL MISKELLY: If we choose to proceed with an appeal of the minister's decision, we have to lodge it, we understand, by next Monday.

GEOFF SIMS: Money, inescapably, is all across the bottom line, whether landholders choose to go with the wind turbines and pick up an annual payment from the developer or claim their properties will be unsaleable because of a turbine next door.

IAN ROSS: They're within about 300 metres of our boundary, which could affect future subdivision and sale of that property.

GEOFF SIMS: That's your great concern, is it?


IAN ROSS: Well, one of the great concerns.


PAUL MISKELLY: If all of your assets are in your property and you say, "Well, I'm sick of this, I want to go", who's going to buy your property? You're stuck. And you're not compensated by the wind farm operator.

LORRAINE ROSS: They're going to be right in their face. Would you buy them?

GEOFF SIMS: And four to $12,000 a year offered to landholders per turbine, they say, is simply not on.

LORRAINE ROSS: I tell you right here and now, they could offer 100,000 a tower and I would not take it. They are disgusting.

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English Bites - Wind Farm
story notes

Picturesque means attractive or pretty , like a scene in a picture.

The place is Taralga.

Taralga is a small town near Goulburn in New South Wales.

Here nestled means sitting snugly or settled.

Harmonious means friendly and peaceful.

conditional consent
Consent refers to permission or agreement. Conditional consent refers to consent given under certain conditions only. So they are allowed to build a wind farm, as long as certain conditions are met.

put a cat among the parrots
To put a cat among the pigeons means to do something that causes trouble. Hes playing with words and says parrots instead of pigeons because there are a lot of parrots in Taralga.

Example: He really put a cat among the pigeons with his plan to sack half the workers.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

sour grapes
To say that something someone says is sour grapes means that they said it because they are jealous.

Example: He says my new job is boring, but that's just sour grapes.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Relentless means without stopping.

Turbines are the spinning devices that are used to generaste electricity.

out of harm's way
To be out of harm's way is to be in a place where no damage or injury can happen.

Example: Put the hot coffee out of harm's way - there's a toddler here.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

Here built is the past participle of the irregular verb build. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: build

moral high ground
Taking or having the moral high ground is having an argument that is considered morally better or that shows what a worthy person you are.

Example: Vegetarians take the moral high ground when they claim that producing meat can only be cruel.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

bottom line
The bottom line is the most important thing to be worried about or the most important conclusion. This expression comes from the last or bottom line of an account that tells you how much money you have made.

Example: The bottom line is that our team has to win this game to stay in the competition.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

pick up

Example: The car picked up speed going down the hill.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb pick up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: pick up

Here stuck is the past participle of the irregular verb stick. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: stick

in their face
Something that in in your face is very annoying in a way that can't be ignored.

Example: The music enjoyed by young people is often a bit in your face.

not on
Something that's not on is not acceptable.

Example: Loud music after midnight is not on.

here and now
at this moment

Example: Yiou are reading this here and now.

What other way can the word spelled w-i-n-d be pronounced?

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