Merimbula Letters to the Editor, May 1

Defenders of environment?

Bega Valley Shire Council (BVSC) is committed to defending & protecting our pristine environment ... well, some of the time & depending on who you are, of course.

If you want to throw rubbish from your car, including cigarette butts, council quite rightly labels you as a "tosser" ... an irresponsible, anti-social loser who cares little for our environment. If you are caught, you can expect a fine anywhere between $250 to $500 as your reward.

If you refuse to pay council tip fees and decide to dump your old mattress, white goods, car parts or green waste in the bush, your reward might be even more significant: up to $8000, depending on the scale of your offence.

If you are a developer, you can pretty-well write your own rules in the Bega Valley.

There have been two significant spills of sediment into the Merimbula Back Lake from a subdivision being developed in Mirador. In response to its inquiries relating to the first incident in February of this year, BVSC advised the BVSRRA that remedial action had been taken at the direction of council and that it did not intend to impose a penalty on the developer.

On April 1, the BVSRRA again wrote to council referring to a further significant incursion of sediment into the lake from the same development, asking council what steps it intended to take to impose a penalty and what were the findings of the environmental consultant who had been requested to assess the damage to the lake's ecosystem.

What penalty does the community think is reasonable in response to two separate incidents where tons of sediment have been allowed to flow from a development site into a pristine lake, contrary to council's environmental controls?

In the developer friendly world operated by BVSC, the cost for polluting our environment is absolutely nothing.

And apart from Cr Nadin, who at least attempted to pursue the issue at the last meeting of council, not a word of concern was voiced by our inept and ignorant council in response to this latest act of environmental vandalism.

The BVSRRA has to acknowledge that at times it struggles to find the right words to characterise council's behaviour.

John Richardson, BVSRRA

Ill effects of turbines

For all the pretty and annoyingly inane words recently emitted in their media release by Akuo, the developer of the Granite Hills Wind Farm proposed for Brown Mountain, the fact remains that wind turbines emit lots of annoying, damaging infrasound and low frequency noise - ILFN - that is known to cause sleep deprivation and illness.

We don't see X-rays, radiation or viruses, but we know these can harm us. So too can the specific modulation signature of ILFN emitted by wind turbines hurt us.

There are voluminous studies confirming these ill effects, including graphic accounts of regret expressed by wind turbine hosts at a SA Senate Committee Hearing on wind turbines, recorded in Hansard on 10/6/2015. Suffering from "unbearable sleep destroying noise" is not lessened by the $1million income for hosting 19 wind turbines.

It is time governments considered fully the health implications of ILFN when siting wind farms near people's homes. Ideally, there should be a buffer of 20km to all residences, or at least 5km, plus effective noise mitigation products installed to minimise harmful effects on people who otherwise become forced to consider abandoning their homes.

As wind farms are spreading more and more across our landscapes, getting taller and more intense, more and more people are shocked to feel the realities of living near them and shocked that their problems are being ignored by wind industry developers, councils and governments. We could all become "collateral damage", unless current outdated guidelines are reassessed soon.

Michaela Samman, Bemboka

Wyndham Basketweavers Lyndall Robertson, Trish Castillo and Jen King demonstrate their craft at the weekend's Candelo Village Festival.

Wyndham Basketweavers Lyndall Robertson, Trish Castillo and Jen King demonstrate their craft at the weekend's Candelo Village Festival.