Just three weeks after Premier Napthine opened the Macarthur wind farm, a coalition of southwest Victorian and supporting groups have released a joint statement calling on the Premier to rewrite anti-wind farm planning laws and unlock jobs in southwest Victoria.
The joint statement will be hand delivered to staff at Premier Napthine’s electorate office this morning.
The powerful coalition of pro-wind energy voices who spearheaded the joint statement include:
- Victoria’s primary wind turbine tower manufacturer, Keppel Prince Engineering of Portland
- The region’s labour organisation, South West Trades and Labour Council
- Sustainability groups, Portland Sustainability Group and South West Environmental Action Group
- The Victorian Wind Alliance (VicWind), and
- Friends of the Earth’s Yes 2 Renewables campaign.
Dozens of employed and recently retrenched wind workers have thrown their weight behind the joint statement and made a virtual appearance at the electorate office.
The government’s restrictive planning laws–including arbitrary ‘no-go’ zones for wind farms and 2km right of veto to block new projects–has cost Victoria $887 million in lost or stalled investment, 650 construction jobs and 54 ongoing jobs.
The joint statement draws attention to the economic and jobs benefits wind energy delivers southwest Victoria. The Oaklands and Macarthur wind farms delivered a $67 million boost as well as the 900 construction jobs and 52 ongoing jobs.
“Wind energy is good for jobs and good for the southwest economy.” said Andrew Bray, state coordinator of the Victorian Wind Alliance. “Two thirds of the wind turbines now operating in Victoria are located in Premier Napthine’s electorate. The Premier knows firsthand how wind energy benefits the community.”
The groups behind the joint statement believe Premier Napthine’s attendance at the opening ceremony for the Macarthur wind farm signals a willingness to recalibrate the government’s restrictive wind farm planning laws.
“Premier Napthine to has shifted his government’s position on wind energy by endorsing the Macarthur wind farm. Now it’s time for the Premier to take the next step and restore fair laws for wind energy,” concludes Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s Yes 2 Renewables spokesperson.
“We look forward to receiving correspondence from the Premier and starting a conversation about how Victoria can reclaim its position of leadership in wind energy,” added Ewbank.
Since Dr Napthine took office as Premier, nearly 1500 Victorians have signed our petition calling on Ted Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws to be dumped. Sign the petition here and join the powerful chorus or organisations calling for the government to restore fair laws for wind farms.