The Victorian Labor party has ramped up its critique of the Baillieu government’s anti-wind farm laws. Shadow Planning Minister Brian Tee has mocked the state government’s clarification of planning laws for wind energy projects that have relaxed guidelines in metropolitan areas while maintaining strict laws in the country.
Jason Downing reports for The Warrnambool Standard (‘Wind farm rules differ between country areas and metropolitan region,’ August 2, 2012):
The Baillieu government has made it easier to build small wind turbines in city areas but maintained its tough stance on wind farms in the country.
New planning rules clarify that the requirement to “obtain written consent from dwelling owners located within two kilometres of a turbine” does not apply to turbines in residential, industrial or business areas.
The clarification was ridiculed by opposition planning spokesman Brian Tee.
“How absurd that farm cows are ‘protected’ from wind farms but they are not dangerous for workers or those living in the suburbs,’’ Mr Tee said.
“This policy is devastating the wind industry in Victoria.”
This is the second time in as many weeks the Victorian Labor party has taken the Baillieu government to task for its anti-wind farm planning laws.
While visiting the award-winning Hepburn Wind project last week, Shadow Minister for Energy Lily D’Ambrosio said the Baillieu government is “detrimental to the wind industry.” The Shadow minister is right about that. Y2R has previously shown the collapse of Victoria’s windfarm project pipeline has cost Victoria up to:
- $887 million in lost or stalled investment
- 650 direct jobs lost or stalled in construction
- 54 on-going jobs in management of wind farms
- 1408 indirectly associated (flow-on) jobs
- Projects totaling up to 204 turbines and 408MW of generating capacity
The Yes 2 Renewbales campaign is paying close attention to the state opposition’s stance on wind energy. It’s our hope the Victorian Labor party show leadership on the issue and commits to restore sensible wind farm planning guidelines in Victoria.