It's one small step for the people living around Penshurst in western Victoria, it’s one giant leap for sane people right across Victoria and indeed Australia. The otherwise useless landscape-polluting and bird-slaughtering wind farm proposed for that area has been abandoned.
After more than 10 years of working on the project, RES Australia has formally announced the “discontinuation of Penshurst Wind Farm Project”. It “no longer considers this project to be an ongoing development opportunity”.
So the people around Penshurst at least will now be able to — literally — sleep soundly at night.
But, unfortunately, not so those whom RES will now target somewhere else; it added that it would focus on “other” (Victorian wind and solar) development opportunities.
And of course, not so also those who still have to live near the chomp, chomp, chomping blades chewing up both birds and taxpayer and consumer dollars alike, while wrecking our formally great electricity system, on the odd occasions “when the wind does blow”.
This is great news as a first step back towards national sanity.
I am not aware of any wind project falling over previously — the snouts-in-the-trough dollars are just so big they tend to override all rationality.
It just could be the first step towards the fulfilment of the dream I have had for some years and still have: that one day we will live in a nation where we start tearing down those useless towers and blades.
And also yes, in a nation where people “will not be judged by the colour of their skin”. But that’s outside the specific context of this comment.
I might add what I wrote in 2013 — in that hoped-for future, we’d keep a few, some stripped to just the tower, some left with a single blade to turn lazily and even more uselessly in the occasional breeze.
They would remain, like fragments of the Berlin Wall, as testimony to the time when insanity engulfed our supposed intellectual and policymaking elites.
We really would have to keep one as a particular memorial to a certain former prime minister and his “greatest moral challenge of our time’’.
It would be shorn of its blades to mark his spineless squibbing of that challenge.
On the broader front, there’s the mother-of-all political opportunities just screaming out to be seized by a competent prime minister.
Any politician who could combine political opportunism with policy sanity would stand in the middle of one of these “farms” and rather than plead with their installers to “tear them down” would promise to in government embark on doing exactly that.
Knock, knock, is anyone at home in the Federal Liberal Party?
Can’t they see how Bill Shorten has donned the political clothes of John Hewson, in promising to hurt people from opposition?
In 1993 Paul Keating won the “unwinnable election” by demonising Hewson’s promise to give us a GST.
In 2019 the next leader of the Liberal Party could win a similarly “unwinnable election” by demonising Shorten’s (even more clearly demonic) promise to deliver blackouts and even higher power prices — to say nothing of quadrupling, quintupling, these hideous, useless, bird-slaughtering turbines.
I should finish with apologies to Neil Armstrong and Martin Luther King for “borrowing” their memorable quotes — while noting that Armstrong only made it to the moon thanks to hydrocarbon energy.
Surprisingly, (the also, previously sane) NASA turned up the opportunity to use wind turbines for lift-off. Although there can be no doubt that the moon is the best place for them.
You've really got to feel for Myer CEO Richard Umbers: he hasn’t got a clue of the destructive power of the Force Five hurricane otherwise known as Solomon Lew that’s building towards him; and he’s backed by a board which, more simply, just doesn’t have a clue.
Did retiring chairman Paul McClintock really say he didn’t know who was the CEO of Lew’s sprawling group of — unlike, ahem the company he’s been chairing — mostly successful retailers?
And that he therefore did not know that this “mystery man” — well, mystery at least to McClintock — was also the most successful CEO of Myer’s most direct competitor, David Jones; and even more, he was the CEO back in the day when DJs was eating Myer’s lunch and spitting out the crumbs?
Perhaps McClintock’s excuse is Mark McInnes was running DJs out of Sydney and was such a shy retiring type that you never saw him in the newspapers — except all the times he flashed up on the front page, in the gossip cols and at celebrity events on TV.
Ah well, McClintock’s probably got more important things to think about than what makes for success in department store retailing. Not so Umbers, who will still be there — at least, that is, for another three months.
Perhaps unknowingly, he set out the simple but very determinative metric for his continuation in the job in just 15 words in his comment on the dreadful Myer trading numbers yesterday.
“Myer remains focused on the upcoming and more significant periods of Spring Racing and Christmas.”
Indeed. Absolutely right. This is the three months that matter. And matter to no one more than Umbers.
Anything remotely like a repeat performance of Wednesday’s numbers and he’ll be heading for an extended late summer and autumn holiday.
If he makes it to January 1.