Anti-wind power politicians set to blow hot air in Canberra

143321-110827-alan-jonesAustralia’s radical anti-environmentalist element is coming out of the woodwork this Tuesday for a Tea Party-style rally against wind farms. Organisers allege wind energy the “greatest economic fraud in Australian history,” criticising the Howard government-established Renewable Energy Target (RET), which aims to have 20 percent of Australia’s energy coming from renewable sources by 2020.

Shock-jock Alan Jones has put his hand up to MC the event that will feature the marginal independent Senator John Madigan. Of concern is the fact that a contingent of rogue Coalition politicians have jumped on the bandwagon.

Ostensibly, the Abbott-led opposition supports renewable energy. Greg Hunt, the Shadow Minister for Climate Action, reiterated his support for the RET in an interview with the ABC. Yet due to his reluctance to commit to the 41,000 GWh target, the Coalition is creating policy uncertainty.

Meanwhile, the following members of Hunt’s party are actively campaigning against wind farms.

Angus Taylor, the Liberal candidate to replace Alby Schultz in the safe seat of Hume, NSW. Taylor goes for the farm boy image. His Liberal Party profile emphasises his rural pedigree, talking about what he likes to do when he’s not “on the farm.” In this favourable write-up in the Financial Review, where Taylor is pictured leaning against a fence (having just heroically killed a tiger snake with a shovel), he argues against the RET on economic grounds and calls for its review to be brought forward from 2016 to 2014.

However, Taylor is not primarily a farmer. He’s a business consultant and director of the firm Port Jackson Partners Ltd (PJPL). Although PJPL does advise farming businesses, it also has had contracts with Orica, a company that services the mining industry and prepared a large report for the Mineral Council of Australia. Given its clientele, it’s unsurprising that PJPL authored this report, critical of the RET. Nor is it surprising that Taylor has been circulating inaccurate PJPL literature among his Liberal party colleagues.

Alby Schultz MP
Alby Schultz MP

Next is Alby Schultz, retiring member for Hume and Taylor’s biggest fan, billing him as Australia’s next PM. He is best known for his boycott of parliament during Kevin Rudd’s apology to the stolen generation and for grabbing a fellow parliamentarian by the neck. Schultz’s arguments against wind farms lack the economic rationalist subtleties of Taylor’s. In fact, his language is reminiscent of that use by the opaque “grassroots” organisations opposing wind farms. In a speech to parliament on the 30th of May echoed their cries of fraud.

“Fraud is just the tip of the iceberg: the modus operandi of wind turbines is also centred around intimidation, manipulation of fact, character assassination, lies and cover up. This multi-headed industrial Hydra is aided and abetted in its plundering of the public purse by incompetent governments, friendly pro-wind bureaucrats and a variety of individual parasites living off the taxpayer pot-of-gold renewable-energy-certificate process,” said Schultz.

On the same day, Schultz gave another speech defending anti-wind campaigner Sarah Laurie and denigrating the public health researcher, Professor Simon Chapman.

Craig Kelly MHR Hughes NSW Liberal Official Portrait 9/9/2010 file no 10456
Craig Kelly MP

Craig Kelly is the Liberal party member for Hughes, south of Sydney. Kelly has a history of climate denialism and dishonesty, yet it is unlikely that he will lose his seat in September. Kelly echoes anti-wind campaigners’ claim wind turbines are precipitating an exodus of rural households.

Liberal Senator Chris Back came straight to politics from the oil and gas industry. In July of last year, Back published this extensive manifesto against wind energy and the RET and in October made this speech against wind farms of equally impressive length. Unfortunately the accuracy of his material is not as impressive as its comprehensive coverage.

Finally, representing the other half of the Coalition is Nationals Senator for Queensland, Ron Boswell, who is retiring in June 2014. Boswell has made a lengthy tirade against wind power in the Senate.


If you’re one of the 73 percent of Australians who support the Renewable Energy Target and  76 percent that support building more wind farms, you might like to contact the following politicians and let them know about your views.

This post was authored by Odile Gotts.

6 thoughts on “Anti-wind power politicians set to blow hot air in Canberra

  1. Why on earth are we still having these ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ demonstrations?
    The climate change disaster is not a matter of opinion, much less political opinion!
    Even today we see in the news that whole housing estates in northern India are being washed away by unprecedented floods.
    It is obvious that the climate is changing and causing enormous damage especially in places that are not well prepared.
    The science is clear!
    It is logical.
    It is backed by evidence!
    Sadly, we don’t have people in the decision making realm who are qualified in science.
    This is probably because such people have something better to do than waste their talents in the political arena.
    And so I fear the worst!

  2. So, an ‘anti’ rally is a ‘Tea Party’ like demo, which you obviously equate with ‘bad’, while a ‘for’ rally is what – just a bunch of good guys? If your arguments for wind energy are so strong why do you need to resort to name calling?

  3. QueanieB, you seem to be doing the name calling.
    I was careful to list ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ groups with an equivalent status.
    My point is that numbers at a rally are not relevant.
    Decisions as to what to do about anthropogenic climate change require a scientific analysis, not a ‘headcount’ at a rally.
    Here in OZ at present, it seems that the decision makers are not qualified in science and outcomes seem to be based on political advantage.
    Future generations will look back on this lot and condemn us out of hand.

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