Government policy threatens Victoria’s renewable energy jobs, forum told

Shadow energy minister Lily D'Ambrosio (Labor) addresses the packed Portland Forum.
Shadow energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio (Labor) addresses the packed Portland Forum.

Victoria has got what it takes to grow and maintain a thriving renewable energy jobs sector, but government policy roadblocks are standing in its way, a packed forum of locals heard in Portland on Sunday.

Former Australian Liberal party leader, Dr John Hewson, kicked off the Renewable Energy & Jobs Forum. Dr Hewson said governments need to do much more than we’re doing today to address climate change. “There are enormous opportunities from a sensible response to climate change,” Dr Hewson stated, referring to the jobs that can be created by the growing renewable energy sector.

John Hewson
Former Australian Liberal leader, Dr John Hewson thinks a Victorian Renewable Energy Target is a good idea.

Speakers from Portland-based businesses that employ hundreds of locals told the packed audience that renewable energy is a key pillar of south west Victoria’s regional economy.  Continue reading “Government policy threatens Victoria’s renewable energy jobs, forum told”

Baillieu retirement allows Premier Napthine to dump unpopular anti-wind farm laws

Ted Baillieu
Former Premier Ted Baillieu, the architect of Victoria’s anti-wind farm laws.

News of former Premier Ted Baillieu’s retirement opens up space for Premier Napthine to dump the unpopular anti-wind farm laws.

“Ted Baillieu was the architect of Victoria’s anti-wind farm laws which cost the state 466 jobs and $864 million of investment,” Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth renewables spokesperson.

“It’s time for the government to show political leadership and dump Baillieu’s anti-wind laws. Such a move would be welcomed by wind energy workers and companies in Premier Napthine’s own electorate.”

The anti-wind farm planning laws introduced by Premier Baillieu include an unprecedented 2km right of veto for householders to block projects, as well as blanket bans in the windiest parts of the state.

A Friends of the Earth research report published in April found the anti-wind laws have cost the state:  Continue reading “Baillieu retirement allows Premier Napthine to dump unpopular anti-wind farm laws”

Macedon resident rejects Liberal candidate’s wind farm/bushfire fear mongering

IMG_3516The Coaltion’s anti-wind farm laws have been front page news in the hotly contested seat of Macedon.

In June, Yes 2 Renewables and the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group issued an open letter calling on 2014 election candidates to reveal their position on planning laws that ban community wind farms in the seat, and whether they’d support a renewable energy target for Victoria. (Find out what the candidates had to say in the issues here).

In the Macedon Free Press coverage of the candidates’ positions, Liberal Donna Petrovich asserted that wind energy is a bushfire risk. Continue reading “Macedon resident rejects Liberal candidate’s wind farm/bushfire fear mongering”

Pollie Watch: Greens endorse call to boost renewables in Victoria

BqJo8qQCUAAiY99On Global Wind Energy Day 2014, Yes 2 Renewables joined the Geelong Sustainability Group and Surf Coast Energy Group in an open letter (PDF) to candidates standing for the seat of South Barwon regarding their support for renewable energy.

The letter set out the barriers to renewable energy and jobs in the Geelong and Surf Coast region—namely, the Napthine government’s anti-wind farm laws and absence of a state renewable energy target—and invited South Barwon candidates to be transparent with their position on the issues.

While we’re still waiting for responses from the Labor and Liberal party, our open letter made it all the way into the hands of Victorian Greens leader, Greg Barber, who had the following to say:

Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Greens endorse call to boost renewables in Victoria”

Pollie Watch: Laming joins the ranks of pro-wind Liberals

Allowances-5412571Member for Bowman Andrew Laming has emerged as a wind energy supporter within government as the fallout continues from Treasurer Joe Hockey’s undisciplined comments bagging wind farms.

Taking issue with Joe Hockey’s claim wind energy is “utterly offensive” and a “blight on the landscape,” renewable energy supporters flooded the Sydney Morning Herald with letters defending the technology.

Australian National University academic Hugh Saddler penned a dispassionate analysis concluding that, despite the Treasurer’s hostility, wind energy will remain a growth sector in the ACT.

Rubbing insult to injury, a satirical Facebook page titled Things that are more offensive than wind turbines sprung up and rapidly gained over 7,700 supporters.

Screen Shot 2014-05-06 at 7.19.41 AMIf there’s a bright side to the episode, it’s that it has drawn out another pro-wind energy MP within the Liberal party’s ranks: Andrew Laming, the Member for Bowman. Laming joins Warren Entsch as a wind energy supporter. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Laming joins the ranks of pro-wind Liberals”

Pollie Watch: Joe Hockey reveals true colours on renewables…

Published at Renew Economy. Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey kicked off a twitter storm this morning when he stated in an 2GB radio interview he finds wind turbines “utterly offensive” and “a blight on the landscape.” Joe Hockey’s statement was broadcast to a wider … Continue reading Pollie Watch: Joe Hockey reveals true colours on renewables…

Wind energy on the Vic election agenda in Macedon

Screen Shot 2014-04-04 at 3.13.54 PMFriends of the Earth’s recent report on the costs of Ted Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws has put renewable energy on the state election agenda.

The Age featured exclusive coverage of the research report. The Macedon Ranges Guardian, a prominent newspaper in the battleground seat of Macedon, reported on the local impacts of the Coalition government’s anti-wind farm laws.

In addition to scuttling two utility-scale projects in the Macedon region, it’s well known that the government’s arbitrary blanket ban prevented a community wind farm from going ahead in Woodend.

“The State Government’s anti-wind farm laws prohibited our project without any consultation or justification,” said Barry Mann of the Macedon Ranges Sustainability Group —the organisation behind the community wind farm proposal. “We’d love to follow in the footsteps of Hepburn Wind and build a community wind farm in Woodend.”

The Friends of the Earth research prompted responses from the major party candidates.  Continue reading “Wind energy on the Vic election agenda in Macedon”

Pollie Watch: Liberal MP sides with anti-wind fringe

For anyone who has been following the anti-wind farm lobby and their attempts to discredit the wind power sector over the years, this most recent offering might seem like their most desperate yet. Continue reading “Pollie Watch: Liberal MP sides with anti-wind fringe”

Pollie Watch: Sen Madigan’s attack on medical association baseless

Anti-wind crusader Senator John Madigan has attacked the Australian Medical Association for releasing a public statement on wind energy. Senator Madigan told The Australian that the AMA’s statement on wind energy was “politically motivated.” Yes 2 Renewables responded to Senator Madigan’s claims in a … Continue reading Pollie Watch: Sen Madigan’s attack on medical association baseless

Pollie Watch: More hot air from Sen Madigan

This post was featured at Renew Economy, Australia’s leading source for energy news and analysis. Victorian Senator John Madigan (Democratic Labor Party) has alleged that Australia’s wind power generation sector is responsible for a health cover-up comparable to those perpetrated … Continue reading Pollie Watch: More hot air from Sen Madigan