11th April, 2022
One of the authors of this published article is Meg Lee, who is now a partner at Hall & Wilcox Lawyers. Meg Lee used to be a lawyer at Allens. Allens were the lawyers advising Bald Hills Wind Farm Pty Ltd (BHWF) and on the record in the litigation until about April 2021.
Documents discovered and tendered during the proceeding reveal that Meg Lee was regularly copied into the correspondence from Marshall Day Acoustics (MDA) to BHWF and she personally received emailed copies of MDA’s draft reports (see attached document for instance).
In her reasons, Justice Richards found that conclusions in MDA’s assessments in relation to John Zakula’s property were “patently absurd” and “obviously unsound”. Sonus considered that the MDA assessments “demonstrated compliance”. Justice Richards “considered that BHWF could have read MDA’s reports more critically”.
BHWF’s legal advisors who received the draft reports from MDA directly ought to have been more critical too.
The decision is not a victory “for opponents of wind farms” as Meg Lee and her colleague suggest. It is a resounding triumph for Mr Zakula and Mr Uren. The decision reflects poorly on BHWF and its advisors, particularly MDA and Sonus. Her Honour said that she “understood that [Mr Zakula’s] opposition [to the wind farm] had developed because of the wind turbine noise at his property, which he believed did not comply with the permit.”