Pollie Watch: It’s not impossible to be a Liberal and support wind farms

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Former Liberal Senator Peter Rae is a renewable energy champion.

The newly elected Abbott government renewable energy policies have the sector and environment groups worried. It has committed to review the RET, impose real-time sound monitoring at wind farms, and conduct another study in wind farms an health.

According to Crikey, which conducted a survey of sitting Liberal party MPs in September, the Coalition draws new-blank support for wind farms. Only one Liberal MP, Warren Entsch, is on the record with a clear position of support for wind energy. Others such as Minister for Environment Greg Hunt and Minister for Energy Ian Macfarlane are ‘on the fence’. Leading progressive Liberal Malcolm Turnbull ‘shows promise’ but could try harder.

Retired Liberal Senator and wind energy champion, Peter Rae (AO), presents a model for the newly elected Abbott government. At the All Energy conference in Melbourne, Rae said Minister for the Environment Greg Hunt understands the importance of wind energy. Rae says the Liberal party have a legacy of supporting world-leading renewable energy policies. Rae hopes this tradition will be upheld. 

Yes 2 Renewables question MR Rae at the All Energy conference:

Leigh Ewbank: Senator Rae, Crikey reports that there’s only really one supportive member of the Liberal party when it comes to wind energy–Warren Entsch. What do you make of the current batch of Liberal MPs and where you’d like them to position themselves on the technology?

Rae: Can I say, regrettably I’m no longer a senator. I’m not able to be in the party room to be able to discuss some of these issues, so i’m not really in a position to be able to say who’s ‘pro’ or who’s ‘against’ from the point of view of the party room. What I believe is that Greg Hunt (Minister for the Environment) does understand the issues. I believe that he does understand the importance of wind energy, amongst others, and I hope that his argument will prevail within the cabinet and that there will be proper support, continuing support, of the type set by the Liberal government back in the days when Robert Hill was minister.  Australia was leading the world. The Australian Greenhouse Office, the Renewable Energy Target scheme, and the rest of those (policies) were world leading. I think there’s a tradition to be upheld and I hope they uphold it.

Hepburn Wind Award
Peter Rae joined then Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change Mark Dreyfus to present Hepburn Wind with an international energy award at Parliament House, Canberra.

Peter Rae’s background:

Rae was instrumental in the formation of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. When a senator, Rae led a four-year investigation of the capital markets of Australia (Wiki and APH). Dr Geoff Robinson, political historian at Deakin University, says Rae was seen as a one of the ‘free-market rebels’ in the Malcolm Fraser era.

Rae has impeccable renewable energy credentials. Rae was vice president of the World Wind Energy Association (now honorary VP) and is Vice Chairman of the International Renewable Energy Alliance, REN21.

Between 1993-2004, Rae was chairman of the Tasmanian Hydro Electric Commission–the predecessor of Hydro Tasmania, the proponent of a new wind farm development on King Island (RenewEconomy).  Rae presented Hepburn Wind with an international award at Parliament House in Canberra last year.

Yes 2 Renewables analysis: 

Friends of the Earth hope ministers Greg Hunt and Ian Macfarlane follow Peter Rae’s path. The former LIberal senator has shown you can be pro-renewable energy and a proud Liberal.  It would be a shame if Liberal government ministers Hunt and Macfarlane gave into the demands of the fringe anti-wind farm lobby.

Radical ‘tea party’ Republicans have shutdown the US government and are holding America at ransom for narrow ideological interests. Similarly, anti-wind energy radicals are prepared to do the same to Australia’s energy future. Wind farms are now the cheapest form of generation. They create jobs and drought-proof income for farmers while addressing climate change. All these benefits are put at risk by the anti-wind farm campaign who want to stop this lucrative sector in its tracks.

Polling by Essential Research conducted in June shows 73 percent of Australians support the Renewable Energy Target. A substantial 40 percent of which think the Renewable Energy Target is not high enough. A massive 76 percent support building more wind farms.

Support for the RET and wind energy is even high among Coalition voters. Some 64 percent of which believe the RET is either ‘not high enough’ or ‘about right,’ and 71 percent support more wind energy.

It’s in the interest of Greg Hunt and Ian Macfarlane to pursue policies that reflect mainstream public opinion. All available public polling shows Australians overwhelmingly support the Renewable Energy Target and more wind farms.

Anti-wind farm campaigners aren’t satisfied with the 19 reviews by credible health bodies who show wind energy is clean and safe. Why waste more taxpayer money on another study when wind farm opponents have already made up their mind?

Realtime sound monitoring of wind farms is impractical and costly. Why impose such measures when the science shows wind farm sound is safe and within acceptable standards? The Victorian Department of Health and the South Australian EPA have released reviews finding infrasound from wind farms cannot cause harm to human health.

10 thoughts on “Pollie Watch: It’s not impossible to be a Liberal and support wind farms

  1. I bet some people are really worried about the chance of a proper study into the health impacts of wind farms as the article says.

  2. The Abbott government intends to hold yet another inquiry (a “proper study”, as Chris would say) into the health effects of wind farms. As though the recent 19 inquiries didn’t get it right. They all found no ill effects from turbines.
    Maybe this next one will get it ‘right’.
    That is, maybe it will get an outcome suitable to the ‘Right’.
    Ian Macfarlane won’t want an outcome that just agrees with all the rest so it will be interesting to see what his terms of reference are.

    What about an inquiry into the health effects of coal mining?
    What do we know about the fine micro-sized particulate material carried long distances by the wind from coal mines. I chose to live a long way from any coal mine.
    I live near a wind farm.
    Net outcome? No problem.

  3. John, I remember when the Liberal party used to proudly trumpet their environmental credentials back in the days of Malcolm Fraser (federal) and Rupert Hamer (state). During that time, many parks, reserves and heritage areas were declared. Than the insidious takeover by the right wing religious zealots and economic dries started taking hold and the once liberal party became an extremist conservative crowd that redefined the environment as something to be scorned and exploited. Meanwhile, the Labour Party and Greens managed to sell the idea that only they were concerned about the environment.

    People like Chris epitomise the antiscience, no nothing but think they know it all, bugger the consequences and the future attitude displayed by the uninformed money hungry. The only evidence that suits them is anything that fits with their preconceived, prejudiced ideology. He and others have substituted reason and science for their religion of pseudoscience. The facts are irrelevant to folks like Chris.

    1. Go for it blair you don’t want another study done as you have industry funded Chapman looking at a few papers he cherry picked and the ones he didn’t like didn’t bother about and called it proper research..Blair one simple question for you.Have you ever been to the property of someone affected by turbines and spoken to them face to face or heaven help us bothered to stay the week at an affected home. ?????????.I know Chapman hasn’t.It is a simple question Blair lets see if you can answer without getting all personal at me.

    2. Blair cant you reply with something other than personal attacks.No wonder not many people want to post on this site when they get crap like that from you.

      1. Chris, to the contrary, I’m more than happy for any number of independent studies to be conducted because science will show your claims to be based on ignorance and a childish disregard for evidence.

        Where is your proof that Chapman is industry funded? Put up or shut up.

        Yes I have been to the property (the only property) of an individual who claimed to be affected by the Toora wind farm. I tried to speak with this person on a number of occasions via phone and in person but he refused any meetings. He preferred to issue battlecries via the local media. The fact that at least two other families had houses closer to turbines was irrelevant to him, and apparently to you.

        As for comments about getting personal. Why don’t you practice what you preach?

        Unlike you I don’t live online to see my name on discussion pages, I respond when I have time so I hope you understand if I don’t reply to you several nanoseconds after you post.

        I have two simple questions for you. Have you ever considered the possibility that people can be easily misled by faulty information and become convinced something can adversely affect them? Do you know what a psychosomatic illness is?

  4. Once again you attack me on a personal front .{im ignorant and childish} you cant help your self.Anyone dare challenge you and heaven help them.Yes people can be misled and I do know what psychomatic is.But I don’t think all the thousands of people that are affected are lying and they need a bit more understanding than they have been getting from people that haven’t met them.As far as the wind industry is concerned anyone that has a problem is a nutter Any study that doesn’t say what you want is classed as not happening or rubbish and there are hundreds of them.Ever heard of some people getting sea sick and others not on the same boat???.Show some of that real knowledge you say you have blair and give a civil answer.

    1. So Chris, no link, no reference, no real evidence backing up your claim that Simon Chapman receives funding from the wind industry?

      That’s probably because there isn’t any, and he doesn’t. Unlike you, I attempt to check the facts as much as I can. So I sent a message to Simon to ask him specifically if he receives any funding from the wind industry. He is his response:
      http://tobacco.health.usyd.edu.au/assets/pdfs/Other-Research/CompetingInterestStatement.docx

      So here is yet more evidence that you are either lazy, distort the facts, are a denialist or an outright liar, or any combination of the above, purely for the purposes of misleading people.

      Given your lack of integrity and basic honesty, why should I or anybody else believe your claim that “thousands of people are affected…”?

      Let’s see your evidence to support your latest claim? Or will it be another case of your BS and penchant for propaganda getting in the way of reality?

      Your crocodile tears about insults are a bit rich considering my initial comments are supported by your own actions, as mentioned above. If you cannot be honest with people, you shouldn’t be surprised when they call you out. It must be terribly embarrassing for you when your own actions undermine your special pleading.

  5. I would have thought it was OBVIOUS a person in the health industry would talk to those affected but not chapman he puts people down and insults those affected but that doesn’t surprise me as he is just like YOU!!!!.There were many hundreds of submissions to the senate inquiry from people in Australia affected Blair and that was AUSTRALIA ALONE.Go count them or I suppose theyre all wrong and you and your mate sliman chapman have all the answers.GOODBYE

    1. And now you claim to know the protocols Simon used for his studies? How do you know he didn’t try to contact those affected individuals? Again, where is your evidence? No apologies for misrepresenting Simon?

      If you had bothered to read those submissions, like I did, you would know that many were from the same individuals, same families & anti-wind farm groups – the addresses are a bit of a giveaway. They were far from completely separate submissions, almost word for word in some cases. Your naivete is amazing.

      Once again you misrepresent what I have said earlier. I have stated on numerous occasions that I accept some people believe wind farms make them ill – that’s obvious, duh. Trouble is you ignore the rest of my comment which is that many of these people ignore other possibilities, some have had pre-existing health conditions and a large number of people have been misled with faulty information. If you think it’s impossible for people to be influenced by the power of suggestion. How do you explain how hypnotists and magicians fool people? By the way, correlation does not equal causation – try and understand that.

      Where is your evidence that thousands of people have been affected?

      Try practising a little critical thinking before posting nonsense. Your inconsistencies give you away. Bye now…

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