Friends of the Earth welcome Premier Andrews delivering on the election promise to ‘rip up’ the worst aspects of the Coalition government’s anti-wind farm laws.
“Labor’s announcement on wind energy is a good first step for getting Victoria back on track with renewable energy,” said Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson, Leigh Ewbank.
“The announcement paves the way for broader reform of wind energy planning laws.”
“Labor’s pledge to exempt community-initiated projects from wind farm restrictions is sensible policy. Yet, the blanket bans on wind farms still prohibit projects that enjoy strong community support.
”The Coalition government’s anti-wind farm imposed blanket bans on wind farms in the windiest parts of the state, including the Macedon/McHarg Ranges and Bellarine Peninsula. Most controversially, they gave householders the right to veto wind turbines with in 2km of a residence.
Friends of the Earth analysis published in April 2014 estimated the Coalition’s anti-wind farm laws cost Victoria:
- 438 MW of clean renewable energy generation, enough to power almost a quarter of a million homes
- Projects worth up to $864 million
- 490 construction jobs and 64 ongoing jobs
- $10.5 million in economic benefit to regional economies
- Over $2.1 million of drought-proof income for farmers each year
“We look forward to Labor’s plan to drive the rollout of renewable energy in Victoria now that it has shown intent to remove barriers to the sector,” said Leigh EwbankVictoria doesn’t have a state Renewable Energy Target and is lagging behind states that do.
Friends of the Earth have called Premier Daniel Andrews to follow the lead of other Labor states and commit a Victorian Renewable Energy Target that works alongside the national scheme.
“Victoria desperately need its own Renewable Energy Target,” said Mr Ewbank.
“The ACT has a renewables target of 90% by 2020. South Australia’s target has been lifted to 50% by 2025. Victoria doesn’t have a target and it’s costing jobs.
“A Victorian Renewable Energy Target will create jobs and unleash investment in Victoria – which is something all political parties can support.”