The anti-wind farm campaign showed an ugly side to its character at the weekend when Randall Bell, President of the Victorian Landscape Guardians, threatened to “break” Premier Dennis Napthine’s arms if he overturns the state’s retrograde wind farm laws.
In a Herald Sun report on the prospect of Premier Napthine “easing” anti-wind farm laws imposed by his predecessor Ted Baillieu, Randell Bell issued the following warning: “If Dr Napthine reneges on that policy, I’ll break his arms.”
The violent rhetoric of Mr Bell is troubling. Threatening the Premier is just the latest nastiness to come from some in the anti-wind farm campaign.
In late 2009, a mob of hostile anti-wind farm activists took over a community information meeting on wind farms in Colac manhandled then Energy Minister Peter Batchelor. The activists jammed Minister Batchellor’s leg in a car door. Federal member for Corangamite, Darren Cheeseman, has also received threats from wind power opponents.
Violence against elected officials, and any citizen for that matter, is intolerable. This type of violent, bullying rhetoric must stop before someone gets hurt.
Friends of the Earth Australia call on Mr Bell and the Victorian Landscape Guardians to retract the statement and issue a public apology to Premier Napthine.
We also call on closely related anti-wind farm group the Waubra Foundation, and its key office holders, Mr Peter Mitchell and Ms Sarah Laurie, to publicly denounce the violent threat against the Premier.
Violent threats have no place in a civil debate about the merits of energy technologies and policy.
The Victorian Wind Alliance rejects the violent threat made against the Premier, Dr Napthine, by a leading anti-wind lobbyist, Randall Bell (‘Wind Farm Debate blows up’, 9/3/13).
Tea Party-style tactics of division and violence have no place in Australia.
VicWind brings together communities, businesses and individuals in Victoria to work constructively for more wind energy for our state.
All Victorians should be able debate the merits of wind energy freely and peacefully and not find themselves targets of angry threats.
Dr Napthine is right to call for a greater focus on regional development. Modernising our backward-looking wind farm laws is just what country Victoria needs.