NSW Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard has directed that nine wind farm projects now be considered as State Significant Developments instead of being dealt with under the Part 3A transitional provisions that are a legacy from Labor’s time in office. This decision effectively places them back in the planning system.
The wind farms affected by the NSW government’s reactionary decision are:
and Rye Park
It seems that NSW has joined the Victorian government in privileging a minority of vocal anti-wind campaigners over the majority of the community, who continue to support renewable energy. The previous planning system struck a sensible balance in decision making.
“The NSW government has sown the seeds of community division by reopening the planning process for these wind farms,” Yes 2 Renewables told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Iowa has been a prime example for the progress of wind energy in the past few years. As this article shows, Iowa’s wind energy benefits extend from being an electricity generator and economic driver, it drastically cuts pollution and benefits the environment. Read on.
Iowa’s hugely successful wind industry isn’t just an economic driver, it’s having a major impact on cutting pollution and saving water. Wind energy generation in Iowa avoids more than 8.4 million metric tons of climate-altering carbon pollution — the equivalent of taking 1.7 million cars off the road, according to a new report released by Environment Iowa.
Australia’s largest wind farm project has been given the go ahead by the South Australian government just days after Toyota announced its decision to end manufacturing in Victoria.
Victoria now faces a jobs crisis. Jobs created in the wind energy sector would have softened the blow of the declining manufacturing sector. Yet anti-wind farm laws introduced by former Premier Ted Baillieu has prevented new projects in the state.
The Cherry Tree Rage wind farm approved by VCAT last week sparked a debate about wind energy technology that lasted a year. It’s OK for people to have disagreements about the aesthetics of wind farms in the bush.
For me, wind farms represent the future of our energy system, innovation, an economic lifeline for communities, and action on climate change. Unfortunately, opponents of wind farms grasp at arguments that aren’t supported by evidence in an attempt to bolster their position such as the claim that wind farms cause ill health effects. Continue reading “Reflections on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm debate”
When VCAT handed down its finding for Infigen’s Cherry Tree Range wind farm at the end of November some Mitchell Shire residents were quick to air their views on the outcome. Last week (on 4th December 2013) the Seymour Telegraph published a two page article about the case, incorporating views from across the spectrum of opinion, including two letters to the editor.
In the lead up to the VCAT’s directions hearing on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposed for Trawool in central Victoria, the BEAM Mitchell Environment Group has written to VCAT detailing new evidence which bolsters the case that wind energy is clean and safe (The Weekly Times).
The local group hopes VCAT will make a quick determination about the fate of the Cherry Tree wind farm. BEAM President Richard Telford:
“BEAM has closely followed the progress of the VCAT hearing and are encouraged by the very recent findings of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission,” says
“BEAM Mitchell Environment Group remains supportive of the Cherry Tree Wind Farm proposal. BEAM continues to be of the opinion that the benefits to our community far exceed any potential for negative impact.”
As the VCAT hearings on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm proposal is scheduled to resume at the end of the month (September 27), another Infigen wind farm has received the tick of approval from a planning commission.
The NSW Planning Assessment Commission (PAC) has ruled in favour of the Bodangora wind farm and dismissed health concerns brought to the attention of commissioners by anti-wind farm campaigners–including the likes of Sarah Laurie, who Crikeydescribes as a “well-known anti-wind farm campaigner.”
The PAC’s approval of the Bodangora wind farm shows that planning authorities base their decisions on credible research, not pseudoscience claiming that wind farms harm human health.
Given that there are 19 reviews by credible health bodies that show wind farms are clean and safe, the PAC’s decision to approve the wind farm is no surprise.
Sarah Durrant is a Kilmore local who is passionate about a wind farm proposal in her region. Durrant was an observer to the first round of VCAT hearings on the Cherry Tree Range wind farm. Here’s a letter to the editor by Durrant, correcting the assertions of wind farm opponents. It was published in the Seymour Telegraph:
When authors (R and L Stephenson , letter to Seymour Telegraph, 14th August 2013) drop the word ‘fact’ into their letter a reader might hope that there’s some truth to be found in the content. Instead, the letter highlighted an ongoing lack of understanding in regard to just what Council’s role has been in the Cherry Tree Wind Farm planning application process.
No, Council did not vote against the Planning Application from Infigen. ‘In fact’ our Councillors didn’t vote on the Application at all! Council purposefully chose not to make a decision. They neither approved nor denied the application and it was this – Council’s ‘failure to determine’ within the requisite 60 days – that forced the matter to VCAT. Thus, the waste of ratepayer money that’s referred to can indeed be said to be as a direct result of Council’s inaction. Continue reading “Cherry Tree Range wind farm supporter sets record straight”