Pollie Watch: Premier Napthine’s anti-wind farm stance puts him at odds with community

Napthine PicVictoria’s new Premier Denis Napthine reaffirmed the government’s opposition to wind farms this morning in an interview with ABC Radio’s Jon Faine.

Premier Napthine’s public embrace of anti-wind farm laws passed by the Baillieu government puts him at odds with the community, who overwhelmingly support wind power.

Poll after poll after poll shows Victorians want more wind power. Premier Napthine’s endorsement of the Ted Baillieu’s retrograde wind farm planning guidelines puts him out-of-step with the community’s views.

Polls consistently show Victorians strongly support wind farms. A poll commissioned by Pacific Hydro in 2012 demonstrates 82 percent of Victorians support more wind power in the state.

Polling data from Pacific Hydro.
Polling data from Pacific Hydro.

A similar poll conducted for the Clean Energy Council shows 60 percent of Victorians view restrictions on wind farms as a missed opportunity to support the manufacturing sector.

Polling by the Clean Energy Council.
Polling data from the Clean Energy Council.

Premier Napthine’s anti-wind farm stance cuts off a crucial economic lifeline for a state in recession.

Dr Napthine’s endorsement of anti-wind farm laws is puzzling, as the sector has delivered huge economic and environmental benefits to his own electorate—the seat of South West Coast.

Wind energy has benefited Dr Napthine more than any other politician in the state.  Two-thirds of the state’s wind turbines are located in Napthine’s electorate and more than 60 people are now employed in wind turbine tower manufacturing at Keppel Prince in Portland.

The South West Coast has boomed from the construction of wind farms. Analysis by Sinclair Knight Mertz estimate the Macarthur and Oaklands projects have pumped $67 million into the local economy, employed around 900 people during construction, and will provide 52 ongoing jobs.

Based on the strong community support and the proven economic benefits of wind power, Yes 2 Renewables urge the Premier to reconsider his position.


PetitionFriends of the Earth petition gathers momentum!  

In just a few days, 560 Victorians have signed a Friends of the Earth petition calling on Premier Napthine to re-write the government’s anti-wind farm laws and return balance to the planning system for renewable energy. You can sign our petition here and join them. 

8 thoughts on “Pollie Watch: Premier Napthine’s anti-wind farm stance puts him at odds with community

  1. The denial of reality demonstrated by the current state government leads to the conclusion that it is dancing to the tune of some larger force, the fossil fuel industry mixed with vested interests?

  2. Again with the conspiracies Blair! The state government do their polling in areas under threat by wind farm developers and they get a very different result. FOE should do their poll in these areas rather than urban Melbourne or areas where wind farms will never be built. But I guess that would be honesty in polling.

    1. Please point us to any of this polling performed by the State Govt. in “areas under threat by wind farm developers”. The only polls I know of in this context are the planning approvals processes, where submissions from the public are considered. Objections received by these panels usually indicate less than 5% of local residents within 5km of proposal are opposed to a project.
      That’s a pretty good indicator of the level of broad support for wind energy.

      1. “Objections received by these panels usually indicate less than 5% of local residents within 5km of proposal are opposed to a project. That’s a pretty good indicator of the level of broad support for wind energy.” Do a survey of those within 2km of a turbine and you will get a very different result. I know in my area it was 100% opposition (64 households) within 2km. Some had turbines as close as 750m from their homes even though the developer promised not to go closer than 1km. Thank God for the 2km buffer!

    2. Honest polling and conspiracy theories? That’s a bit rich if you look at the history of the anti-wind farm movement. They make many claims about people who are sick or have moved out of the areas where wind farms are built. But can they ever provide evidence, facts and statistics? No. Ironically, it seems their evidence is blowing somewhere in the wind.

  3. The depressing thing is that Dr Napthine, as a veterinarian, would have a sound training in the scientific method. He would thus be better able than most to assess the science of climate change. It is readily described by the physics of the greenhouse effect and is well understood by most school children.
    Yet Dr Napthine is apparently opposed to the installation of wind turbines and all his remarks so far have failed to include any mention of climate change.
    Wind farm development is not an end in itself.
    The urgency is that fossil fuels must be replaced by non fossil alternatives immediately.
    Even a cursory glance shows that recent violent weather events are occurring more frequently and with greater ferocity.

  4. “Do a survey of those within 2km of a turbine and you will get a very different result. I know in my area it was 100% opposition (64 households) within 2km.”
    Gerard – what was the project? Who did the study? Was it part of the assessment? Keen to have a look at the survey and the questions asked.

    1. Leeroy to answer your question the area was in Macedon Ranges and all home owners within 2km (except those hosting the turbines) universally opposed the inappropriate placement of wind turbines.

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