Pollie Watch: Opposition Leader batters Baillieu on wind energy

Victorian opposition leader Daniel Andrews has challenged Premier Baillieu on the government’s regressive wind farm planning guidelines in an address to the Melbourne Press Club. He said that the five priorities of an Andrews Labor Government would be: 1. jobs, 2. infrastructure, 3. improving services, 4. building skills, and 5. increasing fairness in society.

The opposition leader made the spirited stand on wind energy in the question time following his speech. A school student attending the forum asked the opposition leader for his thoughts on how he would approach climate and renewables.

Mr Andrews said that under the current government, wind energy is ‘fundamentally compromised’ and to ‘cripple these projects is poor leadership’. He said that renewable energy is ‘the future’, explained that Labor will be releasing a policy on energy, and that it would aim to ‘play a leadership role’ on climate and renewables. He noted that the party had ‘lead the way on wind energy when it was in power’.

The Baillieu government’s anti-wind farm planning amendment, VC-82,  has crippled the state’s once thriving wind energy sector, costing Victoria jobs, investment and zero-carbon electricity supplies.

Andrew’s also took a cheeky swipe at the Premier’s policy making, suggesting that because ‘family members are losing a view’ this was a force behind the creation of the Coalition’s wind farm policy.

Victorian Labor leader Daniel Andrews is the highest profile opposition member to hold the government to account for it’s anti-wind farm policies, yet his voice is not alone. Andrews joins shadow minister for planning, Brian Tee, and energy, Lily D’Ambrosio (see A, B and C), in what is becoming a powerful chorus critiquing the Baillieu government’s anti-wind farm stance.

Victorian Labor’s sharpening position supporting wind energy suggests the party has caught onto the fact that Premier Baillieu’s anti-wind farm stance is a political liability for the government.

Yes 2 Renewables will be paying close attention to the Victorian Labor party as it develops its renewable energy policy, so keep your eyes on our Pollie Watch blog posts for updates.  We endeavour to track and update the public about important policy developments, but if you have a tip off, get a politician on the record at a public event, or spot something we missed, shoot through an email to leigh.ewbank [at] foe.com.au.

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