The outlook to the Great Dividing Range east and south of our property are extraordinarily significant to the enjoyment of our house and land.
Before we moved to Nundle 21 years ago, we would visit from Sydney. The first glimpse of the range when travelling east towards Nundle was always exciting, creating a sense of anticipation for nearly arriving at our destination.
It was definitely a major drawcard for choosing to move to Nundle.
The dramatic difference in elevation of 600-800m from the valley to the range is impressive. The vastness of the range is a humbling reminder of the beauty of nature.
Again, I stress the importance of the views of the mountain ranges to the east and south in choosing to purchase our property. It is the significant difference in elevation from the valley to the range that increases the visual impact of this wind turbine proposal and the distance from which people are potentially impacted.
Living in this environment for more than two decades has given our family a strong sense of place. We observe the range in all seasons looking forward to spectacular pink sunsets, a cooling easterly blowing through low lying cloud spilling over the mountain, and even snow-capped hills several times a year. The Hanging Rock outcrop and Yellow Rock are dramatic natural features in the landscape.
Our life is very much oriented towards the range.
We enjoy the sight of the range as we reach our property boundary on Crawney Rd and pull into our driveway, slowing towards the house.
It is an outlook that we appreciate while moving around the property, checking the health of sheep, the level of the dam, attending to our bore, and water pump, working and walking our dogs, gardening, and hanging out washing.
In summer we enjoy reading and relaxing in the garden looking towards the mountain east of the house. It is where we eat outside with friends and family.
The range is also stunning to look at from two bedrooms located on the eastern side of the house. It is a simple pleasure to have a cup of tea and read in bed of a morning, with a vista of the range out the window. It is an unacceptable prospect that the proposed wind farm would intrude on this most personal space.
We have house renovation plans that include a new dining and sitting room, and deck on the northern side of the house that take in the view of the range. Two bedrooms will remain positioned on the eastern side of the house with views of the range.
We put this build on hold for 18 months while we waited for a determination on the proposed wind turbines. Now we are contemplating going ahead again, realising that we have two decades of friendships in this valley that we could not replace.
The combination of high scenic beauty, usually reliable 900mm annual rainfall, arable country, and comparably low-cost real estate is a unique combination at Nundle. We would not be able to achieve like for like for our modest house and eight acres if we were forced to relocate by the visual impact of the wind turbines. It would even be impossible to achieve like for like within Nundle because the real estate options are so limited and small acreage is near impossible to buy.
We are concerned that wind turbines on the range would reduce the demand for our house and land should we ever sell, consequently lowering the market price. The economic impact on those who might wish to subdivide would be even greater not only by reducing the value of the land by spoiling the view but by limiting their market.
We enjoy the dark night skies from our house and land, and have a telescope for star gazing with our children. We do not want the dark skies destroyed by aviation night lighting on turbines on the range. How inappropriate for our rural landscape where we have chosen to retreat from more developed locations.
We use photography from our property for the promotion of our business Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores, telling the back story about the picturesque landscape that we live in, growing our own fruit, vegetables, lamb and wool, and cooking from scratch.
The range is often featured in our photographs which I upload to our Odgers and McClelland Exchange Stores Facebook and Instagram pages, and feature in our monthly electronic newsletter. They have also been published in magazines. These images are a major tool in helping to attract visitors to Nundle via Nundle NSW social media and printed material to support our business, and other businesses in Nundle. My photography has been reposted by Destination Tamworth, Visit Rural and Regional Australia, Our Regional NSW, Tamworth Chamber of Commerce, Country Style, and Downtown Magazine.
As a journalist the landscape is a peaceful, beautiful setting in which to live and work. The range is an integral part of the creative process, inspiring photography and writing.
We appreciate the plant and animal life of the range, its vegetation creating a biodiversity corridor linking Wallabadah, and Crawney Pass National Parks, Ben Halls Gap and Tomalla Nature Reserves. It is disturbing to contemplate the potential disruption to 13 critically endangered, endangered, and vulnerable plants and animal species "likely present and significantly impacted" in the proposed project area, and 24 species potentially impacted by transporting components to the proposed site. Having witnessed bushfire burning in three locations around Nundle last summer, and three past years of drought stressing plant and animal life, it is more important than ever to preserve remnant native vegetation and native animal populations.
We are concerned about the potential visual impact of wind turbines and transmission lines proposed south of our property. We have a particular fondness for Crawney Pass National Park, Teamsters Rest, The Dag Sheep Station, and friends' properties in that area.
It is unacceptable to contemplate wind turbines on the range that we look at and appreciate every day. It will significantly reduce our enjoyment of arriving home, working and walking in our paddocks, as well as our neighbours’ paddocks and on Crawney Road, and relaxing in our house.
It is disturbing to our children that their experience of our home and its surrounds may be impacted by wind turbines on the range. We moved to Nundle when our daughter Isabelle was five and she enjoys visiting home for the open space, tranquillity, and stillness. Our boys have lived in Nundle all their lives, and do not want the outlook they live with changed by wind turbines.
We chose to live in a rural landscape without wind turbines and the wind turbine proposal is offensive, industrialising this semi wild landscape. We want to be “in the middle of nowhere” not reminded of developed civilisation every time we look at the range. We want to see Nundle’s distinctiveness preserved.
We go to a lot of effort to conserve energy, reduce our carbon footprint and apply permaculture principles.
It would be unbearable to witness the clearing of native vegetation for transporting components, increased traffic to the proposed project area, and physical alteration of the range during construction of hard stands, foundations, roads, and turbines. The movement of the turbines, where there is now stillness, would be annoying and destroy the peace we have.
We would be impacted not only from our properties, but as we move around from Nundle Rd to Nundle, Hanging Rock, Crawney and Timor.
The large scale of the industrialised turbines is inappropriate for the small scale of Nundle and its intimacy.
It has created stress, concern, and anxiety in our family from the time we were first exposed to it on February 7th 2018. What a waste of time dedicating hundreds of hours to reading about potential impacts and writing to all levels of government for assistance.
Wind turbines do not need to be built at Nundle in the middle of a biodiversity corridor, a fragile catchment area, and on top of a range that continues to attract significant numbers of tourists each year when there are many other wind farms without the significant impact of this one. A wind farm just over an hour away at Scone has not been built 10 years after approval. Significantly larger wind farms have been approved or are in the pipeline at Coolah (960MW Liverpool Range Wind Farm, 800MW Valley of the Winds Wind Farm) and Walcha (700MW Winterbourne Wind Farm). This week 265MW was approved as part of Tamworth Solar Farm and Bonshaw Solar Farm, each with one objection. Proposed nearby 500MW Middlebrook Wind Farm has attracted no controversy.
The prospect of a Neighbour Benefit Sharing Fund and Community Enhancement Fund in no way compensates us for loss of visual amenity, peace, stillness, and absence of dominating large-scale industrial structures in an intimate landscape. The projects proposed to be funded by the CEF are inappropriate, potentially misleading, and add to the embedded energy already part of the proposal‘s carbon footprint. The proposed 31 ongoing jobs appear to be overstated compared to other approved or proposed 70 turbine wind farms that state 8 to 10 full time jobs; another has 15 jobs. It is disappointing that the proponent has changed its script from promising Nundle and Hanging Rock local jobs, to ongoing jobs within a one-hour commute.
A photomontage for our property was provided without interpretation and without details outlined in the Scottish Natural Heritage Visual Representation of Wind Farms, Version 2.2 February 2017 (Camera and make/Lens/Focal length/Date and time of photograph/Turbine numbers for cross referencing with turbine layout/Wire frame lines). We were not provided with an A2 print or given information about how the photomontages should be viewed. i.e paper size and distance from body.
We do not support the wind turbine proposal and there is no way the proponent can mitigate, offset, or compensate us. The impacts on our family would be real, many and profound.