Removing the ugliness of wind power. The photo opportunity of Julia Gillard at a Crookwell wind farm did not go exactly as intended. Sure the pictures of an alternative to carbon spewing power stations were there but so were the opponents of these giant wind turbines. Environmentally sound they may be but the turbines are an aesthetic nightmare and a noisy nuisance to many living close to them.

The federal government's $10 billion investment in the greater use of renewable energy is not a sure fire vote winner when it subsidises rural ugliness. The president of the NSW Landscape Guardians, Humphrey Price-Jones, who the Sydney Morning Herald reports, lives near Crookwell and the site of a planned wind turbine, has lobbied the government to suspend all development applications for wind farms until any noise-related health risks are assessed. It was views like his that took some of the gloss off Ms Gillard's visit.