Media release, 2 Feb 2012
Friends of the Earth (FoE) has released a map showing the state of Victoria’s wind industry graphically. The strong potential for wind power in Victoria is obvious, but so is the impact of 2011’s new VC82 planning law amendment introduced by the Baillieu government.
The map, using the google maps facility, plots the location of each existing or proposed wind farm in the state with a summary of the size of the project and a link to further information.
Proposed wind farms are divided into three categories: green for approved, red for those blocked by 2011’s change to the planning laws, and orange for those not yet approved, or approved but facing extra hurdles before getting the green light to proceed.
FoE campaigner Ben Courtice explained “The map is not as promising as it looks on first glance.
“There are a lot of green turbines on it, the ones with planning approval, but they may not stay that way.
“A few of these are now under construction, or even almost finished. Many have not even secured finance to begin construction yet, and may never do so.
“Most wind farms were approved during previous state governments, and as their approval expires, they will have to re-apply under the 2011 wind farm planning laws.
“The first of these will begin to expire in March 2012. It’s unlikely that many approvals would be renewed under the new laws, which are the most restrictive in the world.
“While it is frequently said that over 1000 turbines have approval in the state, this number could start to drop off very quickly. We will keep the map up to date as these events occur.”
FoE are calling for the 2011 planning law amendments to be repealed. In particular, the outright ban on wind farms in large parts of the state, and the 2km setback policy that allows just one resident within 2km of a proposed wind farm the right of absolute veto. Under these provisions it is unlikely new wind farms will be developed in Victoria.