Hepburn Community Wind Farm, Victoria

Is the Victorian government feeling the heat yet?

Support for renewable energy across Victoria isn’t something that’s restricted to any one sector of our diverse community, it’s embraced by people of all ages and from all walks of life. It’s not an alternative or minority viewpoint, it’s mainstream, a need that’s recognised and accepted right around our state – in our cities, in our regional towns and in our smallest rural communities.

Hepburn Wind Farm, Victoria
Visitors from across the state enjoy a Y2R tour of Hepburn Community Wind farm

It’s a debate that often reaches the letters pages of local newspapers across the state, and voters of every persuasion are asking why, if there is so much support for renewables across Victoria, does the Victorian Premier and his government not join in with this conversation? Why are Victorians not reaping the full benefits that wind, solar and other renewable energy sources can offer? Why are we lagging so far behind our neighbouring states when it comes to renewable energy installations such as wind farms? And why does Victoria’s government still retain the most restrictive planning regulations regarding wind energy facilities, when the accepted evidence – even from within its own departments – demonstrates that such policy is unnecessarily rigid?

Yes2Renewables recently came across a letter to the editor of a newspaper in one of our regional cities, and the author appears to agree that the reason we’re not achieving our potential lies squarely with Premier Napthine and his Ministers.

We’d like to share this letter written by Ivan Kitt, first published in its original form by the Bendigo Advertiser  on 23 January 2014.

PREMIER NEEDS TO SHOW COMMON SENSE

While our state has sizzled during the last week with severe heat temperatures, our state government has fiddled and fumbled.

Our Minister for Health, David Davis, has put out the proposal to commit to a study on what effect wind farms have on health to people.

Recently Cherry Tree Wind Farms were granted a permit by VCAT to establish a wind farm as there was no substantial evidence to prove they were a risk to health.

While the Environment Minister, Ryan Smith, doesn’t appear to have any idea or solutions on what needs to be done in using renewable energy either, it is a proven fact that renewable energy is far cheaper than coal to produce.

The minister for planning Matthew Guy, the man who was going to do it his way, appears to be incapable of getting things right and should allow the development of more wind farms for the betterment of the state in general.

If this government was fair dinkum in governing for the people of this state they should be looking at every opportunity and options to increase power resources; the use of renewable energy for the state would be very beneficial.

The elderly suffer, as do young children and livestock; retail and industry suffer loss of production; there is waste of food products when refrigerators and freezers shut down, and hardship is placed on families and businesses because of this.

It’s about time Denis Napthine, as Premier of this state, started to show some leadership and common sense, and make some decisions that can make a difference to people’s lives and general welfare, instead of adding more uncertainty and stress to the taxpaying public of this state, which is something we don’t need.

IVAN KITT

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