TAKE ACTION: Petition Premier Napthine to dump Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws

768797-denis-napthineTed Baillieu’s resignation presents the Coalition with the opportunity to dump the former-Premiers regressive anti-wind farm laws (called VC82).

Research by Friends of the Earth estimates that the wind policy championed by Ted Baillieu has cost Victoria around $887 million in lost or stalled investment.

Meanwhile, much of our best farmland is under exploration for coal or gas. Gippsland produces food worth $1.3 billion each year, yet the fossil fuel industry is hoping to greatly expand mining operations across this region.

The new Premier, Denis Napthine, must show he is listening to community concerns about new coal and gas. Please sign our petition now to let the Premier know you support action on climate change and want Victoria to transition from polluting fossil fuels to clean renewable sources of energy.

11 thoughts on “TAKE ACTION: Petition Premier Napthine to dump Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws

  1. We the potential victims of cowboy developers will be lobbying the government to maintain the current laws. Will you also be lobbying to remove planning restrictions in inner Melbourne so that (sometimes the same) developers can build build higrise appartments along the Maribyrnong and Yarra and in other inner urban areas.

    1. Thanks for the comment Peter. In a debate that is often very nasty I respect the fact you are being transparent with your identity and have made an argument in a polite and well-mannered way.

      I understand your concern with inappropriate development along Melbourne’s fantastic waterways, however residential development is a qualitatively different issue to wind farm projects.

      When it comes to our energy future we face a simple choice: We can maintain business as usual, burn polluting fossil fuels and lock in climate change (and all its consequences); or, we can move to clean, renewable energy technologies and avoid dangerous climate change.

      As a reader of the Yes 2 Renewables blog, I trust you’ll be well aware of the advantages of wind power:

      * Wind farms decarbonise Australia’s energy system and help us address climate change.

      * According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance wind power is now the cheapest form of new-build electricity generation in Australia. Wind energy can therefore keep a lid on electricity prices.

      * Wind energy is clean and safe. Despite claims of a ‘wind turbine syndrome’, over 17 peer-reviewed studies show there is no adverse health impacts from wind mills. In contrast, coal and fossil fuels emit pollution known to cause harm to human health (and premature death). By stalling wind farm developments, opponents of wind farms are keeping Victoria’s fossil fuel generators online.

      * Wind farms are reducing the wholesale cost of electricity. The ambitious rollout of wind farms in South Australia has dropped the wholesale cost of electricity and resulted in cheaper electricity bills. The Essential Services Commission of South Australia has lowered standing contract electricity prices by 8.1% from January. The typical standing contract bill payer will save around $160 per year.

      * The Baillieu Government’s VC82 planning amendments unfairly target wind farm projects. The ‘no go zones’ and 2 kilometre right of veto is unprecedented and does not apply to any other form of energy development. For example, a Victorian cannot veto a developer intending on installing a Coal Seam Gas well within 2 kilometres of your residence, yet they can block a wind farm. Furthermore, the 2km veto gives individuals too much power. Ministers and responsible authorities are beholden to the objectives of the Planning and Environment Act. Individuals are not. They can block a wind farm project without considering the greater good these critical infrastructure project will provide our community.

  2. Dear Leigh, The one thing I will agree on is I think that the no-go zones are unnessary, however I maintain that a 2km buffer is essential planning protection. I would also strongly lobby for a 2km buffer from CSG as recently proposed by the NSW government- after 2 wrongs don’t make a right. You are right that wind power has some advantages but it also has many disadvantages. I would reccomend that Port Phillip Bay would be ideal for many turbines it is a shallow inlet surrounded by 3.5 million people so little transmission loss and they would provide great habitat for marine life.

    1. In regards to the advantages and disadvantages of wind energy, it looks like we’ll have to agree to disagree. But I’m sure we can agree that ‘buffers’ around wind turbines should be based on science, not arbitrarily imposed by politicians. Surely the appropriate distance between residences and wind mills is best determined on a case by case basis. This approach, rather than the current 2 kilometre right of veto, would allow planners to account for the turbine models, blade length, topography, and predicted sound impact, et cetera. The current legislation is a case study in blunt regulation.

      As for wind turbines in Port Phillip Bay… That’s an interesting suggestion, Peter. Are you aware of any proposals? Perhaps other Yes 2 Renewables readers would like to chime in? Is Port Phillip Bay suitable for an offshore wind farm? Would it be economical? Should renewable energy companies (and community-owned energy collectives) explore the offshore option or stay focused on terrestrial wind farms?

      1. My understanding is that in the UK the major emphasis will be offshore for wind turbines. Port Phillip Bay would be ideal close to a significant population and an excellent consistent wind regime and very shallow waters. A 2km buffer from the low water mark could be maintained reduce the issue of overhadowing and blade glint noise would probably not be an issue in an urban environment. The main shipping channel could be avoided which is the deepest section of the bay. The average depth of the bay is 13m. By locating turbines in the bay it would remove the angst of terrestial based wind turbine which (which rightly or wrongly) draw opposition wherever they are planned.

      2. I know there was a proposal about 8 years ago for turbines off Williamstown near Steve Bracks place and it was opposed by many in that area mainly on the grounds of visual amenity.

      1. I agree with Gerard too! Would look much better than Newport PS, the bridge, oils storage tanks, that stupid restaurant with the Titanic on the roof etc….

  3. One would think there is scope for turbines off-shore in the bay.

    But, just imagine the outcry from waterfront homeowners. They would be objecting on the basis of visual impact and potential downgrade of property values.
    However, if nothing is done about the looming climate change disaster, bayside residents may find the bay coming into the front garden.
    .
    The laws of thermal Physics are not negotiable.

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