In June, Yes 2 Renewables and the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group issued an open letter calling on 2014 election candidates to reveal their position on planning laws that ban community wind farms in the seat, and whether they’d support a renewable energy target for Victoria. (Find out what the candidates had to say in the issues here).
In the Macedon Free Press coverage of the candidates’ positions, Liberal Donna Petrovich asserted that wind energy is a bushfire risk.
This isn’t the first time this bizarre argument has been mounted by a Coalition politician. At the hight of the Morwell coal mine fire crisis, National MP Darren Chester claimed wind turbines “regularly catch fire” in an exchange with veteran political journalist Paul Bongiorno. The claims do not stand up to scrutiny.
Riddells Creek resident Lyn Hovey responded to Ms Petrovich’s wind farm/bushfire fear mongering in a letter to the editor published in The Macedon Free Press:
Blue in the face
You can say I support sustainability and the renewable energy target till you’re Liberal blue in the face. But actions and policies tell the real story.
Donna Petrovich (Macedon Free Press Page 1, 5/8/14) pushes the hot button of wind turbines being a fire hazard.
According to the Victorian Government, lightning strike is responsible for 26 percent of wildfires and 46 percent of the area burned, 25 percent of bush fires are deliberately lit. Other causes of fire are burning off, campfires, matches and cigarettes, machinery, and escaped back burning. Wind farms are not listed among the sources of ignition. Wind turbines are fitted with lightning protection devices.
World data shows that wind turbines are a very safe technology in terms of fire hazard. Our current energy mix, oil and gas have thousands of fire accidents per year as well as contributing to the extreme conditions we had last summer.
Where was our fossil fuel apologist when the coal fields were burning?