Voices of Macedon: Wind farm ban is “unfair”

The Express
The Coalition’s anti-wind farm laws is front-page news in the contested seat of Macedon.

The Coaltion’s anti-wind farm laws have hit the Macedon Ranges hard. They have cost the region jobs, investment and killed off a community wind farm proposal.

The seat of Macedon was previously united by uniform planning laws that enabled community engagement in the development process. But since 2011, the region has been subjected to smothering regulations. A large-scale blanket ban on wind farms cuts across the electorate.

On August 30, the third anniversary of the Coalition’s anti-wind farm laws,Yes 2 Renewables, the Macedon Ranges Sustainability group and community members gathered on the border of the “no-go zone.” We sought to demonstrate the arbitrary nature of the Coalition’s wind farm ban.

Woodend local Rebecca Colless joined us on that day. Rebecca explained why in letter published by The Midland Express:

I am in the photo that appeared on the front page of (Macedon Ranges Guardian sister paper) TheMidland Express this week, calling for an end to the ban on wind turbines in the Macedon Ranges (and elsewhere in Victoria).

Donna Petrovich says the ban on wind turbines gives residents “certainty” and I agree.

I’m certain that the ban is based on fear-mongering to protect vested interests and that wind turbines rarely cause fires- the CFA rates them low risk – whereas the residents of Morwell are certain that coal mines burn like hell.

I’m certain that the ban is unfair: the Daylesford community can have a wind farm but the Woodend community can’t.

I’m certain that the ban keeps us dependent on polluting fossil fuels and in-creases the clear and present danger of climate change.

I’m certain that the ban means Australia gets left behind while smarter countries develop renewable energy technology and industries.

I’m certain that in the next state election, I will vote for a candidate who will lift the ban.

Victorians are passionate about renewable energy. Polling commissioned by the Climate Institute finds 71 per cent of Victorians support state government policies that encourage more renewable energy.

Renewable energy was a key theme of the 400-strong People’s Climate March in Kyneton.

When one considers the passion and the polling, it’s clear that the parties with a pro-renewable energy stance will have an advantage on polling day.

The Labor party and The Greens are committed to ‘ripping up’ the anti-wind farm laws and restoring fairness to the planning scheme. The Coalition still has time to adopt a pro-renewable energy policy before November 29. The window of opportunity it there, but it’s closing.

r4r-bannerRide 4 Renewables – Oct 18

The Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group, Yes 2 Renewbles and Woodend Cycles are pleased to present Ride 4 Renewables on Saturday 18 October. Join us on  to see the location for what could be the next community wind farm in Victoria (provided those pesky wind bans are dumped!)

When: 18 October 10.30am
Where:  Starting at Black Forest Timber Mill on Black Forest Drive to the site of proposed community-owned wind turbines in the pine plantation off Fingerpost Road. There will be a photo opportunity before the return ride to Black Forest Timber Mill. (13km round trip).
RSVP: Book your tickets now at www.mrsgonline.org.au/r4r and share the Facebook event here.
Contact: For further details contact R4R@mrsg.org.au.

Macedon Candidates Forum – Oct 22

TTR Invite FBWant to ask your candidates about the issues that matter to you? This is your chance.We’re told Transition Towns Riddell will host a election forum featuring Labor, Liberal and Greens candidates for Macedon. This will be a rare chance to see compare and contrast the policies of major party candidates.

When: Wednesday 22 October, 7pm to 9pm.
Where: Riddells Creek Pub, Station St, Riddells Creek VIC 3431
RSVP: Book your tickets now on EventBrite and share the Facebook event here.

3 thoughts on “Voices of Macedon: Wind farm ban is “unfair”

  1. You need to check with the people that will actually be impacted by turbines! Ask the person who is less than 2km from the Fingerpost what he thinks about the proposed wind farm near his home.

    Ditto previous remarks

    It’s easy, have a 2km buffer across the board for all energy or quarrying activities.

    Typical line from Leigh Ewbank “whose group recently surveyed 1500 voters across the electorate on this issue, says there is a “strong appetite” to repeal the Coalition’s bans – a move that Labor and the Greens support.” They never survey the people that will actually be impacted by wind turbines. The 2km ban must remain to protect residents from inappropriately placed turbines!

    1. Hey Gerard,

      We intentionally made sure to keep the survey as open and fair as possible. We wanted to garner the variety of opinions and ideas that are held by local community members regarding the wind farm laws and renewable energy. The surveys were undertaken across the Macedon Ranges at various farmers markets and events. Anyone had the chance to respond.

      Also, whilst I wish it was “easy” to have a buffer around gas and coal activities, it really isn’t. There are many campaigns working at the moment to help farmers protect their land from coal seam gas mining. These can come within 500 meters to a persons premisses.

      Yes, there should always be negotiation between energy source developers and those nearby. But should over 50% of the Macedon ranges, be completely banned from developing any wind facilities regardless of their own individual willpower?

    2. I have to correct you, all of Macedon Ranges Shire currently has a blanket ban on turbines, It is the seat of Macedon that is split in half. Under the previous Labor government’s rules it was carte blanche for wind farm developers and consultation consisted of telling landholders that where turbines were to be. In the case of the Pipers Creek wind farm, turbines were as close as 500m from homes and in the case of the Sidonia Hills proposal turbines they were placed as close as 800m from homes. This is why there was such a strong reaction from our community. To quote Steve Buckle from the company Windpower ‘there are no rules’ The fact that 71% of people support turbines is irrelevant when 99% of people that will have a turbine closer than 2km from their home oppose them. Again I urge Yes2Renewables and the ring-in from Melbourne Labor candidate Maryanne Thomas to talk to the people who will be impacted by turbines. I also urge Yes2Renewables to push for equality and a 2km ban for all energy and mining/quarrying facilities – after all two wrongs don’t make a right.

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