A war of signs between supporters and opponents of a wind farm project outside a small community has escalated, with a corflute found profanely vandalised on the weekend.
Both sides of the debate over the Nundle Hills of Gold Wind Farm Project have condemned the act of vandalism.
Supporter Sue Robinson said as many as 70 residents have put up 80 yard signs around the small town in the last few months, to show their support for the project. Five had already been stolen before the weekend.
But "nastiness" escalated on the weekend, with two corflute signs at a rural site spray painted with foul language by an unknown person.
A school bus uses the road the corflute signs overlook.
"I don't think the vandalism is directed by anyone. I think it's just whoever is aggressively against [the project].
"I want them to have respect for other people's opinions. To think about the children that are looking at that on that bus route.
"There's children actually that saw it on their walk, walking to the shops. The children in our town are seeing this behaviour. It's difficult for the kids in this town right now, it really is."
Mrs Robinson, with husband Jim, will house many of the project's 78 turbines on their rural property.
She supports the project because it would create jobs, subsidise a community enhancement fund for local projects and generate green energy, she said.
"The debate is getting heated because of the amount of signs that have gone up in Nundle now. People that have supported the wind farm have been very quiet for all this time. Now people have the courage to say they support it. It's the amount of signs that are through the town now that are upsetting people."
She said the debate is going to get even more heated as the deadline for the project's development application submission approaches. It's due in November.
But Mrs Robinson said she was not fazed by the attack.
"I'm just going to put two more signs up and we're just going to keep saying that people have a right to their opinion in Nundle."
Preservation Society President John Krsulja, a country music singer and owner of Nundle's famous Dag Station, condemned the vandalism, which he said was not the first.
The Society, which organises opposition to the project, has had signs up for a number of years.
"If you are passionate about your cause there are other ways to go about expressing that passion. Vandalising signs is not a good way to express that," he said.
Last year, someone defaced Oakenville Street, Riverside Park, and Lindsay's Gap Rd with the words 'go the wind farm' on the eve of the Nundle Go For Gold Festival.
"They were passionate about their cause, but they went about it the wrong way.
"For everybody - whether you're for the wind farm or against it - there are better ways to show your passion than vandalising.
"It does show that there is division. The community is divided."