Yes 2 Renewables welcomes the Victorian Premier’s official endorsement of the Macarthur wind farm today. Premier Napthine’s attendance at the opening of Australia’s largest wind farm signals a shift on wind energy.
We welcome the new Premier’s enthusiasm for wind farms. We hope his endorsement of one of Australia’s largest wind farms heralds a shift from his predecessors regressive stance on wind farms.
In 2011, Premier Ted Baillieu amended the Victorian planning scheme to ban wind farms across large swaths of the state. The laws (called VC82) have stalled the rollout of wind energy, which is now the cheapest new built electricity generation.
The Coalition has approved a meagre 6MW worth of wind energy projects since coming to power whereas the previous Victorian Labor government approved 2,500MW. Given that wind energy has benefited Dr Napthine more than any other politician in the state, there’s hope the Coalition will now adopt a more progressive policy.
Two-thirds of the state’s wind turbines are located in his electorate, as is Keppel Prince Engineering—a national leader in wind turbine tower manufacturing. The Premier has witnessed the jobs opportunities and regional investment of wind farms and is ideally placed to help spread these benefits to other parts of the state by re-writing VC82.
The Premier’s endorsement of wind energy comes amid a recent increase in public concern about climate change.
Community concern about climate change is on the rise after the record-breaking heat waves endured by Victorians in 2013. Polling shows that making renewable energy affordable is seen as the most effective way to address the climate change challenge.
Yes 2 Renewables encourage the Premier, and all Victorian politicians, to support critical renewable energy projects. We look forward to the announcement of tangible steps towards meeting the state’s goal of generating 5 percent of our electricity needs from solar power by 2020. A commitment in the May Budget towards a large scale solar project would prove the government intends to act on this election promise.
TAKE ACTION and HELP US BUILD on our MOMENTUM
In just over one month more than 1,300 Victorians have signed a Yes 2 Renewables 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.