Renewable energy is a mainstream election issue in the marginal seat of South Barwon—which stretches from the suburbs of Geelong, down to the Surf Coast and out to Moriac.
Anti-wind farm laws introduced by the Coaltion government in 2011 killed off the Surf Coast Energy Group’s vision of a community wind farm in the region.
Restoring fair wind farm laws and establishing a Victorian Renewable Energy Target offers a lifeline for Geelong manufacturers.
Trends in the United States demonstrate that a strong pipeline of wind farm projects results in increased domestic manufacturing. The US Department of Energy notes:
Seventy-two per cent of the wind turbine equipment installed in the U.S. last year  was made by domestic manufacturers, nearly tripling from 25 percent in 2006-2007.
This success could be replicated in Geelong, but only with political leadership from the next state government.
Yes 2 Renewables and our partners, the Geelong Sustainability Group and Surf Coast Energy Group, have prepared the a renewable energy policy scorecard based on public statements made during the campaign and party policy positions.
Andrew Katos MP’s position on community wind:
Victorian government MP, Andrew Katos, has publicly questioned the Napthine government’s anti-wind farm laws.
The Liberal MP called for community wind farms to be exempted from the Coalition government’s restrictions on wind farms at a candidates forum hosted by the Torquay residents association on Thursday 30 October.
“After Donna Petrovich’s statement I want to look at supporting community wind farms and will discuss it with Matthew Guy,” Mr Katos told the audience.
Mr Katos’ policy shift has been confirmed by Climate Spectator and reported on by The Australian.
Andy Richards’ position on VRET:
While the Labor party has yet to confirm its position on reintroducing a Victorian Renewable Energy Target, South Barwon candidate Andy Richards has personally supported the move at candidate fora throughout the campaign.
Richards joins Labor candidates for the super-marginal seat of Ripon, Daniel McGlone, backing the reintroduction of the VRET.