News of former Premier Ted Baillieu’s retirement opens up space for Premier Napthine to dump the unpopular anti-wind farm laws.
“Ted Baillieu was the architect of Victoria’s anti-wind farm laws which cost the state 466 jobs and $864 million of investment,” Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth renewables spokesperson.
“It’s time for the government to show political leadership and dump Baillieu’s anti-wind laws. Such a move would be welcomed by wind energy workers and companies in Premier Napthine’s own electorate.”
The anti-wind farm planning laws introduced by Premier Baillieu include an unprecedented 2km right of veto for householders to block projects, as well as blanket bans in the windiest parts of the state.
A Friends of the Earth research report published in April found the anti-wind laws have cost the state:
- 438 megawatts of clean renewable energy generation capacity.
- 1.38 million tonnes of carbon emissions abatement.
- Killed off two community-owned wind farm projects and stalled two.
- Community funds worth over $806,000 each year.
- Over $2.1 million of drought-proof income for farmers each year.
- 402 construction jobs and 64 ongoing jobs.
- Scrapped or stalled projects worth up to $864 million.
- $10.5 million in economic benefit to regional economies.
- Over $516,000 million in rate payments to local councils each year.
The Labor party opposition have vowed to ‘rip up‘ the Ted Baillieu anti-wind farm laws if they form government. The Victorian Greens will support steps to restore fair laws for wind farms.
The anti-wind farm laws have emerged as a key election issue in the hotly contested seat of Macedon, where a blanket ban on wind farms killed off a community-owned wind farm project near Woodend.
“Under the current planning laws, it’s ok for Daylesford to have a community wind farm, yet a project of a similar scale in Woodend—just 40 kilometres away—is prohibited,” said Leigh Ewbank.
Riddells Creek local Barry Huxley supports renewable energy in the Macedon Ranges:
“Planning Minister Matthew Guy has an opportunity to reinstate fair laws for wind farms. Only then will communities benefit from local energy sources and jobs.”