Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Sounds of a Blue Sky Winter

22 July 2011

Winter mornings don’t come any more perfect than the one at Port Campbell this morning.

The sky is blue. There is no wind. For those visiting the Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road it will be a grand day.

The sound of the waves pounding into the sandstone apostles might make a perfectly subtle soundtrack to the visit. We live just north of Port Campbell and have our own soundtrack: the whirring industrial drone of the Origin Energy gas plant. This morning the Origin plant is celebrating the day its own way – by emitting a constant high pitched whirr to go with their 24-hour droning.

Of course neither the EPA or the Corangamite Shire will do anything about this. But it’s not just the locals who have to suffer this industrial indignity. For visitors returning to Melbourne tonight might think they have reached the city far quicker than they expected when they encounter the tragedy of city-like lights, the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of lights blazing from the Origin and TRU Energy gas plants just north of Port Campbell.

And to finish, another blast from the past. Brett Holland was a Woodside employee (Woodside built the fault plagued gas plant that Origin now run) when he visited our place and took a reading of 41.7DBA. “The noise is far louder than I expected,” he said at the time. This is no surprise: it is more than double the noise the Origin plant is legally permitted to emit.

Enjoy your visit to Port Campbell and the Twelve Apostles. Just try and forget any industrial noise and lighting you might encounter (pollution though is often scarring).

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