Midday today, at Garema Place in Canberra, Friends of the Earth and Get Up! will present a Rally 4 Renewables. People representing the 73 percent of Australians who support the Renewable Energy Target and 76 percent who support more wind energy will call on the Coalition to end the uncertainty surrounding Australia’s Renewable Energy Target.
The positive, family-friendly rally will feature speakers from across the political spectrum, wind farmers, and people with first-hand experience of wind farms.
Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne – Senator Milne is the Australian Greens spokesperson on climate change and a leader in the national environment movement. Senator Senator Milne drove the process of achieving a carbon price in Australia following the 2010 election.
Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Yvette D’Ath – Yvette D’Ath (Labor) was elected to represent the Queensland electorate of Petrie in 2007 and re-elected in 2010. Her appointment early this year as Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, recognises Yvette’s open passion for a low-carbon future for Australian industry.
Tony Windsor (independent), member for Windsor – Tony Windsor is an independent MP from NSW and was instrumental in passing the Clean Energy Future legislation that will help Australia shift towards renewable energy. More than 15 percent of households in New England have installed solar hot water or rooftop panels. A local group called New England Wind are working toward building the first community-owned wind farm in NSW. Windsor is a primary producer and has lived near the town of Werris Creek his whole life where he operates the property ‘Cintra’.
The past, present and future of Australian wind farming…
Councillor Gwenda Allgood – Long serving Councillor and five-time mayor of Ararat Regional City, Gwenda Allgood, will discuss the unanimous community support for the Challicum Hills wind farm. The Howard government’s Renewable Energy Target delivered a wind farm for Ararat. And the wind farm delivered jobs, investment and an icon the community is proud of. Pacific Hydro has operated for ten years without complaint.
Karen Molloy, wind farmer – Karen will talk about her experiences as a pioneering Australian wind farmer. Molloy will explain the ways in which the Waubra community has benefited from the wind farm.
The Waubra wind farm can power 143,000 households – more than enough to power Ballarat – and offsets a massive 635,000 tonnes of carbon emissions which would have been generated by burning coal in the LaTrobe Valley. Waubra’s reputation has been tarnished in recent times as it is the birthplace of a key anti-wind energy campaign group. Karen is passionate about her community reclaiming their name from the Waubra Foundation – a group whose founding members live between 100 and 700 kilometres away from the town.
Charlie Prell, farmer – Charlie Prell is a sheep farmer and prospective wind farmer from Crookwell, NSW. Prell explain how wind power can drive investment in regional Australia. Farming the wind can drought-proof communities, making the stronger and more resilient. Strength and resilience are character traits Mr Prell has exhibited when dealing with bullying tactics. The Guardian recently reported that Maurice Newman, business advisor to leader of the opposition Tony Abbott, has threatened Mr Prell with legal action in relation to the Crookwell 2 project. Newman is anti-wind energy and a strident opponent of the Renewable Energy Target.
One day, Charlie Prell will host turbines as part of the Crookwell 2 wind farm. This project would generate enough clean renewable energy to power approximately 46,000 homes each year and save approximately 295,000 tonnes of carbon emissions which would have been created by burning coal in the Hunter Valley. Once the uncertainty surrounding the RET is put to rest, more regional Australian towns can benefit from wind farms just like the one planned for Crookwell.
What about the Coalition?…
Coalition MPs Greg Hunt (Shadow Minister for Climate Change) and Senator Birmingham (Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change) declined invitations to speak at the event. Given that 64 percent of Coalition voters support the RET and 71 percent want more wind energy, Mr Hunt and Senator Birmingham have missed an opportunity to speak to their pro-renewables supporters.
If you’re passionate about Australia’s renewable energy future and love wind energy, you can contact Mr Hunt and Senator Birmingham to let them know you’re disappointed in their lack of leadership:
- The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Shadow Minister for Climate Change – Electorate office, (03) 5979 3188. Parliamentary office, (02) 6277 2276. Email Greg.Hunt.MP@aph.gov.au. Social Media: Facebook – Twitter
- Senator Simon Birmingham, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change – Electorate office, (08) 8354 1644. Parliamentary office, (02) 6277 3198. Email: Senator.Birmingham@aph.gov.au. Social Media: Twitter