June 8, 2011 media release
Friends of the Earth
State government confirms double standard for residents near energy projects
Environmental group Friends of the Earth has expressed disappointment at statements by Planning Minister Matthew Guy and Regional Cities Minister Denis Napthine, who have confirmed that the State government intends to enact a double standard for decision making on energy infrastructure.
Speaking yesterday, they confirmed that the exclusion zone that will be applied to residences near wind turbines will not apply in the case of the Tarrone gas fired power station, which is planned for western Victoria.
Speaking after a planning forum in Warrnambool, the Ministers said the new legislation was designed to force wind companies to reach a ‘suitable’ arrangement with nearby residents.
Under the proposed wind energy policy, a single household will be able to veto any turbines less than 2 kilometres from their house.
“Yesterdays statements make it clear that the government is making wind energy developments harder because this right of veto does not apply to other types of power generation” said Cam Walker, Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator.
“A forward thinking government would be encouraging renewable energy development. Sadly, the opposite is happening, with an unfair playing field being established”. “Residents near the Tarrone site have petitioned the state parliament to have a buffer enacted because of noise and pollution concerns. And there are around 2,000 people living within 2 kilometres of the planned massive expansion of Alcoa’s coal mine near Anglesea”.
“Why is the government giving one part of the community rights of veto over energy developments and denying them to another?”
“It seems that the government has decided to pick winners and losers when it comes to Victoria’s future energy mix. And it is clear that it is siding with dirty fossil fuels over clean and renewable sources of energy. In the 21st century this seems backwards looking and is unlikely to be popular with the community – especially those on the front line of the coal and gas industry expansion.”
Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047