Pollie Watch: Ararat locals urge Dan Tehan to protect the RET

Tehan
Ararat locals urge Liberal MP Dan Tehan (third from the left) to protect the RET.

Ararat residents affiliated with the Victorian Wind Alliance have met with Dan Tehan, Liberal party member for Wannon, urging him to support the Renewable Energy Target.

With the Challicum Hills wind farm already operating in the region, this community is well aware of the benefits wind farms deliver. This is why they have launched a petition calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to leave the Renewable Energy Target alone.

T

he region is set to benefit from another wave of wind farm development, but only if the Renewable Energy Target is kept as it is. The 84MW Crowlands wind farm project is in the pipeline. If built, it will enough electricity to power 51,000 Victorian homes.

Yes 2 Renewables estimate the Crowlands wind farm will create:

  • Around 80 construction jobs.
  • Up to seven ongoing jobs in operations and maintenance.
  • Up to $375,000 worth of drought-proof income for farmers.

Here’s The Ararat Advertiser reporting on the launch of the community petition:

ARARAT – A variety of voices from Ararat and surrounds have called for the Federal Government to strengthen its renewable energy policy so that Ararat can fully benefit from its wind resources.

A petition to be distributed throughout the Ararat area will call on Prime Minister, Tony Abbott to ensure the Renewable Energy Target (RET) is secured which will allow for proposed wind farms in the region, including at Crowlands and another just out of Ararat, to move ahead.

A group of wind farm supporters gathered last week at Challicum Hills Wind Farm to launch the petition which also included a video detailing the story of Graeme Maconachie, who hosts a wind farm on his property 20km east of Ararat.

“Hosting wind turbines on my farm has been on of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” Mr Maconachie said.

“It’s been a great financial benefit in tough times, but I also know I’ve played my part in safeguarding my grandchildren’s generation from the worst of climate change.”

Gwenda Allgood, who has been a personal advocator of wind energy for more than 10 years, said what the government decides to do with the RET will have a big impact on Ararat and is hopeful the petition will generate enough support for politicians in Canberra to take notice.

“Ararat’s people have always been supportive of the wind farm and there’s really not a person that I can see in Ararat that hasn’t benefited from the community fund or from the rates that these (businesses) pay or from the roads that they maintain for the farmers,” she said.

“These farmers here today, some of them aren’t even affected by this, they are not going to get a tower on their property. They have no other interest other than the fact they just love that these wind farms can be such a success and can protect the environment.

“There are other opportunities, RES (Australia) for example are interested, I can see this as being a real saviour for the farmer because he is really struggling.

“You’ve got to look around here and see the dry dams and problems with the dry paddocks and if there can be another income for that farmer I think it all goes well for the future of Ararat.”

Greg Carroll, who attended the launch of the petition as a representative of a local business, said by maintaining and strengthening the RET it is future proofing farming in the region, which has a flow on effect into the business sector of Ararat.

“It flows into the Ararat community in different ways, like Pacific Hydro’s community grant schemes which is just fantastic and organisations I’ve been involved in have benefited from that,” he said.

“Rather than governments giving farmers hand outs in bad times, they are better off to promote this sort of stuff. Maintain the RET at the very least, but preferably expand it because it is then giving people ownership as Graeme has here and others have and they are not then saying ‘oh we have a drought, I need a hand out’ – that’s got to be better.

Copies of the Ararat petition are available to sign at Carroll’s Saddlery in Barkly Street.

TAKE ACTION

  • We need your help to secure Australia’s renewable energy future! If you want to help a Yes 2 Renewables campaign to Protect The RET please email: leigh.ewbank [at] foe.org.au

ProtectTheRET

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s