Time to end Victoria’s double standards on energy

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 3.13.54 PMFriends of the Earth‘s recent report on the costs of anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu, and supported by the Napthine government, has put renewable energy on the state election agenda. The report highlights the double standards in Victoria’s energy policy: It’s one rule for fossil fuel generators and another for renewables.

This double standard has struck a chord in the Surf Coast region where a coal mine and power plant operates in close proximity to the town of Anglesea.

Residents who are sick of the pollution from the Alcoa-owned coal plant are building a campaign to Shut It Down. Alcoa want to sell the facility in the wake of the closure of the Point Henry smelter. Alcoa have submitted a license to generate electricity with the Essential Services Commission, which if approved, would allow the generator to dispatch electricity to the grid. The ESC is expected to announce it decision in months.

Recently, Surf Coast councillor Eve Fisher  drafted a motion calling to restore some balance to Victorian energy policy. Fisher’s draft motion called on the Napthine government to exempt community-initiated wind farms projects from the  restrictive planning laws.

Double standards: The Anglesea coal mine and power plant operates close to homes. Wind turbines in Victoria must have a setback of 2km.

Surf Coast resident, Andrew Laird, takes issue with the double standards surrounding energy generators in Victoria. Laird penned the following letter published by The Geelong Advertiser: Continue reading “Time to end Victoria’s double standards on energy”

Surf Coast locals demand an end to double standards on energy

Abbott HendersonIn the dying days of the 2013 federal election, wind energy emerges as an issue for voters in Corangamite.

At the time, Liberal candidate and now elected member of parliament Sarah Henderson proclaimed her support for Ted Baillieu’s unpopular anti-wind farm laws in a town hall meeting in Torquay. Henderson’s endorsement of planning laws which have cost the state millions in investment, hundreds of jobs and crucial renewable energy capacity, was an uncharacteristic gaffe.

The gaffe is still haunting Sarah Henderson. Weeks since the Abbott-led Coalition took office, passionate surf coast resident Anthony Gleeson has taken aim at the ‘double standards’ of the state government’s energy policy. Here’s Gleeson’s contribution which was published by The Surf Coast TimesContinue reading “Surf Coast locals demand an end to double standards on energy”

Wind energy breaks records, yet opposition remains in Liberal ranks

Screen Shot 2013-06-03 at 4.46.55 PMBlustery conditions in South Australia and Victoria over the last few weeks have helped wind energy break records. Peter Hannam reported Australia’s wind farms generated 7.6 percent of electricity in the national grid–enough to power 2.3 million homes.

Given the proven ability of the technology, one wonders why the Liberal party has put forward several candidates this election who are opposed to wind energy.

One of which is the candidate for the seat of Hume, Angus Taylor, who has emerged as a staunch critic of wind energy and the national Renewable Energy Target–Australia’s most effective climate change policy. Mr Taylor even threw his weight behind a ‘wind power fraud’ rally organised by radical fringe groups at Parliament House in June.

Another is Sarah Henderson, who is running in Australia’s most marginal seat, Corangamite. Ms Henderson recently backed Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws at a community forum. According to Henderson wind farms are “dividing communities.”

Dividing communities?… I don’t think so. Continue reading “Wind energy breaks records, yet opposition remains in Liberal ranks”

Pollie Watch: Coalition candidate for Corangamite backs Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws

The Coalition candidate for Corangamite Sarah Henderson‘s support for renewable energy is in question as it was revealed she endorses Ted Baillieu’s controversial anti-wind farm laws.

HendersonThe revelation emerged in a community forum in Torquay on 13 August, in which Sarah  Henderson expressed her support for the restrictive laws, saying that wind farms were “dividing communities.”

Of course, the only thing dividing communities are anti-wind campaigners and the restrictive laws preventing farmers from  a drought-proof income stream. Ms Henderson’s claim wind farms divide communities ignores all of the available public polling which shows that three quarters of the community support more wind farms. Wind farms are even highly popular among Coalition voters. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Coalition candidate for Corangamite backs Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws”