Monday, 22 October 2012

Wind Turbine Syndrome website registered by......mining resources fund?

So, I've maintained a fairly sarcastic tone since the inception of this blog earlier this year, but I feel perhaps it's time to cast away the shackles of ridiculously over-bearing irony. Let's explore one of the key lobby groups that object to wind farm developments in Eastern Australia. 

The Waubra Foundation insists that it is an independent research organisation, bravely cutting through the muck to deliver unfiltered and unbiased medical advice to communities that live around wind farms. It serves as a masthead for the proponents of "Wind Turbine Syndrome" across Australia, and is a primary resource for those objecting to wind developments on health grounds. 

More importantly, its members angrily object to claims that it has any links to vested interests in the coal and mining industries. 

As has already been established, The Waubra Foundation shares a post office box with the Lowell Resources Fund, an investment fund with interests in "Emerging mining and energy companies". Browse to their website, and you get to experience a beautiful montage of open-cut mines, oil-rigs, and occasionally, a picture of some pencils. 


The Lowell Resources Website. Seems independent. 


Sarah Laurie, the 'medical director' of the Waubra Foundation, offered an explanation for that odd post office box coincidence. 

"The Waubra Foundation is not a front for the Landscape Guardians … Peter Mitchell  … has kindly made his mailbox available for the use of the foundation, as we have extremely limited financial resources.”

Unfortunately, their need to share resources with mining investment funds goes further than you might think. Entering the URL of the Waubra Foundation into domain name registry service 'AusRegistry' returns a curious result:



Notice anything familiar? The email address 'susanr@lowell.net.au', when searched for on Google, only shows up on a submission to the parliament written by the Western Plains Landscape Guardians. The URL 'Lowell.net.au' doesn't seem to work, but tracing the domain back to its owner leads to another unsurprising result:



"LOWELL CAPITAL LIMITED" leads to this website - the 'responsible entity' for the Lowell Resources Fund. In this case, the link to a registered mining resources fund is blatant and easily demonstrable. 

Meanwhile, the Waubra Foundation continues to accept tax-deductible donations, as it is classified as a charity. Next time you hear the nervous (yet stern) insistence that the Waubra Foundation is an independent research body, it might be worth bringing up the email address under which the website is registered. 

4 comments:

  1. Interesting!

    Who are Tim Beacham, Julie Halstead, Susan Ghent?

    Who pays them, do to what?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tim Beacham is a web developer, in Thornbury (Melbourne).
      http://timbeacham.com.au/

      Julie Halsted (sic) is a CPA at Lowell Accounting Services, a company that shares the name, logo and web-design of the Lowell Resources Fund http://www.lowellaccounting.com.au/sites/lowellaccounting.com.au/files/images/summer_2011.pdf

      Susan Ghent has made various submissions to government-level planning exhbitions, for example, her submission below (search for text 'ghent' on the page)
      http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/tabid/205/ctl/View/mid/1081/ID/66/language/en-AU/Default.aspx

      Delete
  2. I understand that Ghent is the maiden name of Susan Richmond, hence the email address susanr@lowell.net.au. Do a whois search of 'thewaubrafoundation.org'. Susan Richmond is the registrant.

    ReplyDelete
  3. When I was there recently, I saw only young suits. They didn't see me as I'm told women over 60 are invisible - especially to the young!

    Anyhow, can verify the sign on the door downstairs and upstairs still says Lowell Resources with no mention at all of Waubra Foundation.

    ReplyDelete