Council votes against the Crystal Brook Energy Park (CBEP);
The first Flinders News poll: 83% of respondents vote in favour of the CBEP;
Council votes against the Crystal Brook Energy Park again;
CBEP given state government approval;
Second Flinders News poll: 74% of respondents vote in favour of the CBEP;
Port Pirie Mayor says that they opposed the project to 'represent our public'.
a climate emergency has been declared in 935 jurisdictions representing 206 million people (up to 1,986 jurisdictions and a billion people by June 2021) the Port Pirie Regional Council has opposed an innovative renewable energy development that would abate 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, fitted in with all the state wind farm guidelines, and had overwhelming support from the public.
Restrictive zoning regulations discourage the building of wind farms in areas well suited for the purpose. (See my photo of an area ideally suited for wind power development, but zoned not suitable, on another page on this site.)
Their attitude to renewable energy developments was again displayed when the councillors voted unanimously to oppose the innovative Crystal Brook Energy Park (CBEP), a $350-$600 million project, even after it was modified specifically to fit in with the council's restrictive zoning regulations.
Hopefully it will be built in spite of Council's negativity; it was given state government approval in August 2019, the final decisions will be up to and Neoen.
The people of Australia are very much in favour of renewable energy, polling carried out by The Australia Institute in March 2017 found that of the 1420 people surveyed "67% said Australia was moving into renewable energy too slowly, including 35% saying much too slowly". The majority of Australians know we must reduce emissions if we are to limit climate change and ocean acidification, but the Port Pirie Council show no sign of caring.
Geoff Brock, South Australia's member of parliament for Frome, who lives in Port Pirie (and was for about six years Mayor), unlike the present council, has been very supportive of the Crystal Brook Energy Park.
The author of this page, David Clarke, was not aware of the poll until the day before the writing of this section, 2018/07/25. I believed the poll to be important and revealing but I was unwilling to publish anything about it until I was able to confirm its existence and results on the following day.
On 2017/07/26 the poll results were available on a Flinders News online page titled Largest solar and wind powered hydrogen plant to be built at Crystal Brook. To see the result you will need to click on 'view results' on that page.
My impression has been that the Port Pirie newspaper management (the same people control both Port Pirie newspapers) have been biased against the Energy Park; they seemed much more inclined to publish negative rather than positive articles about it. The fact that the poll was not published in the newspaper (it was eventually published some months later) tended to confirm that impression. I suspect that the newspaper management were hoping for a negative result, which they would have published, but wanted to give minimal coverage to the positive result.
It is perplexing that in spite of the overwhelming local support suggested by the poll and the valuable development that the Crystal Brook Energy Park would constitute, the Port Pirie Regional Council voted to oppose the project.
It shows that total renewable energy generation share in Australia has gone from under 7% to nearly 18% in the ten years to the end of June 2018.
Wind power is also undergoing a growth spurt at the time this graph was produced, there were then 18 wind farms with a total of 3.2 GW of installed capacity under construction in Australia. When in operation these wind farms could be expected to increase the amount of wind power generation by 68%.
It seems that the Port Pirie Regional Council wants no part of this entirely positive growth in renewable energy.
Some negativity near the proposed Crystal Brook Energy Park can be no more than a partial reason for Pt Pirie Councils opposition to renewable energy.In the vicinity of the Crystal Brook Energy Park there are one or a few renewable energy opponents who want to win at any cost and have frightened decent people by spreading fiction about wind turbines. It seems that the Council has listened to them, but Council's opposition to renewable energy seems to go much deeper and further back than the CBEP.
sleep under operating wind turbines many times and had a good night's sleep every time. You will only hear wind turbines from a distance of two or more kilometres under ideal circumstances; if there is wind in nearby trees or if there is a car travelling at highway speed within a couple of kilometres these sounds will drown to the quiet swishing sound of the turbines.
Motor vehicles make much more noise than wind turbines, especially those with modified exhaust systems. On the other hand, manufacturers of wind turbines make them as quiet as possible. How many of the wind turbine opponents who complain about the noise that will come from a proposed wind farm have complained about the (often quite unnecessary) noise from motor vehicles?
If the opponents of Crystal Brook Energy Park, including Pt Pirie Council, manage to stop the development, they will be able to tell their grandchildren that their efforts increased the amount of carbon dioxide going into the atmosphere by 600,000 tonnes per year more than it needed to be. The ring-leaders will be able to say they did it by using deceit, misinformation, exaggeration and downright lies, the followers may be able to get by with admitting only to selfishness, gullibility and ignorance.
I would hate to have something like that on my conscience.
I have written about why I support the CBEP, and why everyone else should, elsewhere on this site.
Out of touch with what the world needs and what the Australians wantA study published by the Australia Institute in September 2018 found that 73% of Australians were concerned about climate change and that 70% want government to replace coal fired power with renewable energy.
Out of touch with what the local people want
"We react to what our elected parties give to us and from the community, they came back to the elected members and said that they weren't happy with the process. Elected members took that on board and brought it through the chamber. That is our stand and we are only here to represent our public and that is what we did in this case."The Mayor said this more than a year after a poll in a local newspaper, mentioned above, indicated 83% of the local people supported the energy park. It seems that either Council chose to listen only to the energy park opposition or they had their own agenda and reasons for wanting to stop this very positive, progressive and innovative project.
Quite plainly, the Port Pirie Council has been, and continues to be, out of touch with what the Australian people, and the local people, want.
Unlike the Port Pirie Regional Council, both the previous South Australian Labor, and current Liberal, Governments, and in particular, Energy Minister Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan, have been very supportive of renewable energy.
ExternalEcosystems across Australia are collapsing under climate change; The Conversation
On this siteEthics
South Australia's great success with renewable energy
South Australia's energy future
Australia's energy future
Selfishness or altruism?
Wind energy opposition
Dishonestly opposing renewable energy is a crime against humanity
The Abbott, Turnbull and Morrison Governments
A green or a black future?
Progressive and regressive communities, corporations and governments from a South Australian perspective
Mid North SA leads Australia in renewables
Northern South Australia's renewables
A Tale of Two (or Three) Cities (and sundry towns)
Why support wind power
Why I support the local wind farm
Wind power in SA
Crystal Brook Energy Park supporters
A letter to my great-grandchildren
Northern South Australia – leading Australia in renewable energy