dissatisfaction with EPYC - Residents Against Jupiter Wind Turbines

Department of Planning & Environment
GPO Box 39
Sydney NSW 2001
July 6th 2014
Dear Ms McNally
Residents Dissatisfaction with EPYC and the Department
At a recent meeting attended by more than 70 members of Residents Against Jupiter Wind
Turbines, the following resolutions were passed unanimously:
That Residents Against Jupiter Wind Turbines and the community are greatly
disturbed by the lack of real information provided to the community at EPYC’s
“exhibition day” on June 14th and its “tick the box” nature as a form of
consultation that was not two-way, real consultation.
That Residents Against Jupiter Wind Turbines express extreme disappointment
with the non-response of the Department of Planning to local residents’
expressed concerns and with its failure to adopt clear publicly announced
criteria to be used in assessing EPYC’s proposal.
EPYC’s Non Consultative “Exhibition” Day
You have received many individual complaints about EPYC’s exhibition day held on June
In case they have been mislaid, you can find a summary at
consolidated from copies members cc’d to us.
While there were many detailed criticisms made, the common feature is that the conduct of
the day was not consultation. Not only did it fail to inform on the matters most important to
those attending, but it was conducted in a way that prevented consistent and shared
communication with residents attending and there was no evidence of EPYC’s representatives
taking note of the concerns raised by residents.
Residents would like to know your reaction to the day and to the subsequent response from
residents. Specifically, will the department count this as an occasion of “consultation” by
EPYC or will the department mark it down as another mock-consultation activity by EPYC.
This is not a rhetorical question. We are seeking an actual answer to this question from you
and your department. As you are aware, the EARs issued to EPYC state that “A
comprehensive, detailed and genuine community consultation and engagement process must
be undertaken”.
PO Box 125, Bungendore NSW 2621
Email: [email protected]
The residents want to know, and have a right to know, how the department is going to judge
whether that requirement has actually been met. Will your judgement be based on the
feedback you receive from the people who are supposed to be consulted, or will it be
determined by whatever verbiage EPYC includes in its EIS about what it says was effective
consultation and engagement?
We would be grateful for a straight answer to this question.
Dissatisfaction with the Department’s Performance
That leads into the second of the matters raised above, the resolution dealing with the
department’s failure to respond to the community and its members and its failure to provide
clear, public criteria against which the EPYC proposal will be evaluated. Again, the
resolution was carried unanimously by the more than 70 members at the meeting.
Communications from individual residents and from Residents Against Jupiter Wind Turbines
as a community group frequently go without any response or receive only a cursory, and long
delayed, response that provides no substantive answer to the question or issue raised by those
writing to the department.
You should understand there is as much anger here about the department, and increasingly the
minister, as there is about EPYC. No one really expects EPYC to do anything but what is in
its own interest – if the department allows it to get away with that behaviour. And so far
everything we see in relation to the department is that it is intent on letting EPYC run riot
over the Wind Farm guidelines and over the interests of the community.
EPYC does not have a fiduciary responsibility in relation to the community. You and your
department do. And at present your department appears to have zero interest in living up to
its responsibilities.
That is exemplified by your department’s consistent failure to answer our question as to what
will be the critical criteria used to determine whether EPYC’s application will be approved.
We know the EARs have a list of 70 or 80 different things EPYC is supposed to do.
However, most of that is “tick-the-box” stuff and no one is able to make rational decisions
involving 70 or 80 criteria.
Ultimately, unless you are simply seeking the freedom to ex-post justify a pre-ordained
decision to approve, there will be a small number of criteria that really count, and the
community wants to know what they are.
If you are willing to specify those criteria to the community, that will be a significant step in
rebuilding your department’s credibility with the community. Should you be unwilling to tell
us, that will reinforce the widespread perception that the department is not an honest broker in
this matter but conducting a rigged assessment process heavily biased towards giving the
developer the approval it wants.
PO Box 125, Bungendore NSW 2621
Email: [email protected]au
Yours sincerely
Dr Michael Crawford
for Residents Against Jupiter Wind Turbines
PO Box 125, Bungendore NSW 2621
[email protected] or
[email protected]
0408 673 506
Copies to:
The Hon. Pru Goward, MP
John Barilaro, MP
Palerang Councillors
Angus Taylor, MP
Dr Peter Hendy, MP
Goulburn-Mulwaree Councillors
Karen Jones, Director Infrastructure Projects
PO Box 125, Bungendore NSW 2621
Email: [email protected]