31 August 2011 – The anti-wind farm campaigners have won in Victoria, scaling back future wind farms costing the state potentially more than $3 billion in future investment in a resource that is desperately needed. See our article

Yet in a Four Corners report on 25 July, Against the Wind, Randall Bell, a lead campaigner in the issue, Landscape Guardians, admits to close links to the anti climate change, right wing activists the Institute of Public Affairs. His focus is not so much about the health issues that some residents of nearby wind towers are concerned with, but about politics, he says

“So it’s a battle. It’s a political battle,” the interviewer says.

“Yes,” replies Randall Bell.

“And you use any weapon you can to win that?

“Yes.”

“To win that fight?”

“Yeah”, replies Mr Bell.

Following is an excerpt from the program:

ANDREW FOWLER: Though health is the latest issue to be used against wind farms, the history of opposition goes back years….Victorian solicitor Randall Bell led the anti wind farm campaign when he was chairman of the Australian National Trust.

It had some wins, preventing wind farms from being sited in areas of natural beauty.

But it was when he left the National Trust in 2003 and set up the Landscape Guardians which drew its inspiration from an English group, the Country Guardians, who are vehemently opposed to wind farms, that the fight became ideological.

ANDREW FOWLER: The Federal Government has a target of 20 percent renewable by 2020. Are the Landscape Guardians doing their best to see that this is not provided by wind power?

RANDALL BELL: Well, it’s the Government’s target. It’s their choice, it’s their decision. All we will say is that wind will never deliver on it, not in a 100 million years. The only thing that would deliver on it would be gas.

And they ought to wake up to that.

They know. They know very well that wind is not going to deliver.

ANDREW FOWLER: Four Corners has been told that two members of the conservative think tank the Institute of Public Affairs have been influential in a committee advising the Landscape Guardians.

Are you surprised that the Institute of Public Affairs is actively involved in giving advice to the people that are opposed to wind farms?

MARK DREYFUS: Uh… I could say that nothing the Institute of Public Affairs does surprises me. They’ve played a very active role in supporting what I would treat as climate change scepticism or denial of the science of climate change.

ANDREW FOWLER: But there’s people you have here…

RANDALL BELL: Yeah.

ANDREW FOWLER: ..do have links and have worked for the IPA.

RANDALL BELL: A lot of them have two arms and two legs as well.

ANDREW FOWLER: Unlike some prominent members of the IPA, Randall Bell says the Landscape Guardians don’t have a position on global warming.

RANDALL BELL: I have said countless times that it is one of the great debates that we need to have of our time.

ANDREW FOWLER: So you’re a sceptic?

RANDALL BELL: I’m becoming, sadly, more sceptical about it because… that seems to be the conclusion. Instead of…

ANDREW FOWLER: For Randall Bell and the Landscape Guardians, the battle against wind farms is no longer purely a scientific argument.

RANDALL BELL: It’s always political. It always was. I never got it until very late in life that it was always going to be about votes.

ANDREW FOWLER: So it’s a battle. It’s a political battle.

RANDALL BELL: Yes.

ANDREW FOWLER: And you use any weapon you can to win that ?

RANDALL BELL: Yes.

ANDREW FOWLER: To win that fight?

RANDALL BELL: Yeah.

See the whole transcript https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/content/2011/s3277568.htm