Letters to the editor | Wednesday October 11

Trees not growing on us

What is it with Goulburn Mulwaree Council? Seemingly, they have to get rid of heaps of spare cash, so let's go for trees in roundabouts. Much like trees in the main street and road dividers down Bourke Street that do little for safety and remove scarce parking spaces. Wasting money. Why not reduce rates!

Trees in streetscapes, including roundabouts, are a waste of money that could go instead to reducing rates, writes Grant Pearce. Photo: file

Trees in streetscapes, including roundabouts, are a waste of money that could go instead to reducing rates, writes Grant Pearce. Photo: file

Just remind me why I pay CBD rates in Bourke Street and how it helps us in Bourke Street. I suggest that trees in roundabouts will be a hazard for traffic with reduced visibility and a target for wayward cars, and will require plenty of maintenance. Perhaps the council could try out a big oak tree at the Clifford/Bourke Street roundabout first and see how that goes.

Grant Pearce, Goulburn

Compensate the shire

In September 2016 I wrote to your paper regarding the minute monies donated to the Upper Lachlan Shire by some wind farm developers. I referred to the practice as ‘crumbs to the peasants’.

Each turbine will give its owner an annual income of over $1.5 million, money paid in various ways by Australians, RET subsidy, and green contracts. It is costing Australians over $2 billion per annum in the greatest scam since the GFC. The multinational developer will give us back 0.15 per cent and take 99.85 per cent back to Spain, China etc.

In the UK, Government policy requires a minimum payment to each community by windfarm developers of $25,000 per 3 megawatt turbine in that community: 10 times our ‘gift’. I believe that we should receive 5 per cent of the turbine income, $75,000 per turbine per year. This could see the council’s annual income almost double and enable a major upgrade of the deteriorating infrastructure of the shire.

At the September 2016 council polling booth, I was assured of support by all but two prospective councillors. When the matter was raised in council by the new councillors the motion was disallowed and the council sworn to secrecy. A closed workshop followed in January. Nothing has happened in a year. Malcolm Barlow and I have written and phoned [Pru] Goward for 10 months seeking a meeting with the Minister for Planning, all to no avail.

From another source I obtained a new policy paper from the Valuer General’s office, which considers applying an industrial rate to hosts of wind farms. This is  based on sales of similar farms or on the return to the owners from the wind farm lease. This is a very impractical approach and would yield only a fraction of what is received by UK councils from wind farms.

Upper Lachlan Shire is being desecrated by the largest concentration of wind farms in NSW. The Shire must be compensated. Pru Goward is our State MP. She was Minister for Planning and did nothing to help us. Angus Taylor is our Federal member. He has opposed wind farms on economic grounds, but has been ineffective.

John Carter

The nuclear spectre

Once again, Rob Parker is riding his hobby horse by raising the spectre of nuclear power in this country. 

He, like others who suggest this dangerous source of power, ought to study talks by well known Canadian environmentalist, David Suzuki, who points out that Australia, regardless of other considerations, cannot afford to build nuclear plants. Their lifespan is short in comparison to their cost and their shutting down is even more expensive. 

Why would we risk our world-wide reputation of clean produce and a healthy place to live when we can supply required power with renewable sources? These are rapidly being made more effective with improvement to battery storage. 

Instead of raising concern for high summer consumption, why not teach people how to use less power (building orientation, blinds, curtains, insulation, ceiling exhausts etc). Use nature rather than abuse our planet and so reduce our high power costs.

P Shaw, Goulburn