Neighbours furious over man's 10m-high 'eyesore' in backyard

·News Reporter
·2-min read

One man’s bid for a sustainable future is another man’s eyesore on Victoria's Phillip Island where a 10-metre high structure has propelled neighbourhood frustrations.

“It just needs to come down,” one neighbour told A Current Affair.

“It’s revolting and unnecessary.”

But local electrician, Rob McKitrick, says his backyard wind turbine is part of an extensive renewable energy system, which includes solar panels.

It’s also part of the father of two’s legacy.

A 10-metre high wind turbine in the backyard of a house
A 10-metre high wind turbine in the backyard of a Phillip Island home has left neighbours up in arms. Source: A Current Affair

“If people aren’t happy, then they’re environmentally irresponsible,” he said.

“I’ve got kids. I’m going to leave a world for them. This is all part of it. We’ve got to do everything we can.”

As a qualified electrician with 30 years’ experience under his tool belt, and an accreditation in renewable energy, Mr McKitrick was well placed to build and install the wind turbine on his coastal property after 11 years of research.

“I’m qualified to do this,” he argued.

“We need to do this and I’m doing it for the right reasons.”

The wind turbine (left) and Rob McKitrick (right)
Rob McKitrick insists the wind turbine he built and installed himself is safe. Source: A Current Affair

But not everyone is a fan.

Chris Broadley lives two doors down from the sparky and claims he no longer feels relaxed at home.

“It’s so big, if it fell over it would fall to the neighbour’s place most likely and, you know, someone could be killed,” he said.

But Mr McKitrick insists that he’s built safety features into the wind turbine to counteract potentially damaging winds.

“There’s an ultra-high sensor to sense the high-speed winds and there’s a brake that stops the turbine,” he said.

While the wind turbine is yet to be switched on, its presence has fuelled several neighbours to take action.

A wind turbine can be seen over a garden fence
Several neighbours have complained to the local council about Mr McKitrick's backyard wind turbine. Source: A Current Affair

The Bass Coast Shire Council says it has received multiple complaints since the structure was erected.

However, it insists Mr McKitrick’s structure is well within building codes.

If residents have more hot air to blow off, they’ll need to take up their issues with the State Government.

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