From an environmental viewpoint, one significant detail from the November state election results is the fact that the ALP held a number of rural seats where there are substantial wind farm and other renewable energy projects planned or under-way, such as Rippon.
Despite some noisy opposition and attempts to make renewables an election issue, this clearly did not have a substantial impact on the outcome in these seats, suggesting that even in electorates with wind farms there is widespread support for renewable energy projects.
However, the Coalition has now indicated that it will implement its regressive wind policy in spite of substantial opposition from the renewables industry and many in the community who are concerned about climate change and regional development.
As The Age newspaper pointed out recently, the Baillieu government has conceded that its controversial wind farm policy is powerless to control the biggest expansion of wind energy in Victoria’s history, with 1,322 new turbines planned across 28 approved developments.
However, once implemented, the policy will close large areas of the state to future wind projects. At this point, wind energy is the single most effective way to start to reduce our greenhouse emissions here in Victoria. Why does the government want to kill off this job rich, low emissions industry?
Please take action
Please email the Premier, Minister for Planning, and Minister for Climate Change, urging them to re-consider their policy on wind farms. Remind them that the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has already noted that if the Coalition policy was enacted, it would put “thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of energy projects … at risk”. This will impact directly – and negatively – on regional Victoria. Explain that you support wind farms and renewables in general and you expect the government to act on these issues.
Remind them that climate science tells us that we only have this decade to turn global emissions around. We will not be able to do this if we stop the expansion of the wind farm sector.
There is a draft letter below if you prefer to use that.
The Hon. Ted Baillieu
Premier of Victoria
The Hon. Matthew Guy MLC
Minister for Planning
The Hon. Ryan Smith
Minister for Environment and Climate Change
Many thanks. Please cc us a copy so we know how many letters have gone in: email@example.com
Dear Premier Baillieu,
Wind farms provide clean energy, green jobs and income for rural communities. Your proposed restrictions on the location of wind farms will block the development of the wind industry in Victoria.
You want to give landholders veto rights over any turbines located 2km from their houses. And your large scale ‘no-go’ zones will exclude wind farms from some of the best wind resources in the State.
These new laws will make it easier to dig a coal mine or build a freeway than start a wind farm. I call on you to drop the proposed restrictions and secure the long term future of clean energy in Victoria.