MEDIA RELEASE Friends of the Earth
Thursday, 11 March 2011
Coalition’s 2km wind farm veto sets a risky precedent
The Coalition’s proposed right of veto for residents within 2 km of planned wind farms highlights worrying double standards on development, according to Friends of the Earth (FoE).
A spokesperson for the Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy told the Weekly Times that residents within 2 km of new wind farms would be able to veto a development if they couldn’t reach an agreement with the proponent.
“This new right of veto applies to wind farms, but not to coal mines, freeways or any other major developments in rural areas,” said FoE campaign coordinator Cam Walker.
“What other form of development can be stopped by a single home owner?” he asked.
“All we are asking is a fair go for the wind industry. If the government grants this right of veto over wind farms than why isn’t it applied to all major developments that may affect rural communities?”
“Otherwise, it will be harder to establish a wind farm in Victoria than a new coal mine.”
“Victoria has fantastic potential to develop a thriving wind power industry that can provide clean energy, jobs and opportunities for small business in regional Victoria.”
“The Coalition’s ill-considered pre-election promise to ban wind farm developments within 2 km of any house, and exclude the wind industry from tourism and growth corridors will send wind energy investment interstate and put jobs and businesses at risk.”
“Existing and approved wind farm projects are expected to generate $16 million for rural landowners and $4.6 million for local councils annually, but the growth of the industry will be stopped dead in its tracks if the Coalition’s anti-wind farm policy is fully implemented.”
“There is a very real risk that we will not see any new wind farm development applications approved in Victoria during this term of government unless the Coalition rethinks its arbitrary policy position.”
“Victoria can have a thriving clean energy industry that helps reduce greenhouse pollution and create jobs for the future, but it needs government support, not extra red tape,” Mr Walker concluded.
For further comment contact:
Cam Walker 0419 338 047
Louise Matthiesson 0417 017 844