In 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.
After appearing in The Geelong Advertiser expressing concern about the Napthine government’s energy policy–which has killed of another renewable energy project in the Geelong/Surf Coast region–Yes 2 Renewables received the following letter from Geelong and Surf Coast locals, Mik Aidt and Anthony Gleeson.
Aidt and Gleeson make a forceful argument about the need for the state government to support renewables and act on climate change:
Why is it decision makers in Australia think it is important to spend millions of dollars on building new and bigger roads, while investing in renewable energy, which can lead to improved health and a safer climate, is not important?
The seriousness of the threat which climate change presents has recently been emphasised by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Their Fifth Assessment Reportshows there’s is a planetary emergency. Why on earth are the politicians who have been elected to take responsibility for our safety and well-being not thinking that these risks of climate calamity described by science should be dealt with immediately and with full force? Continue reading “Why are renewable energy projects being killed off by the Napthine govt?”
Liberal candidate for Australia’s most marginal seat of Corangamite, Sarah Henderson, has refused to be drawn into a debate about her stance on wind energy.
Last week, Yes 2 Renewables and the local group Surf Coast Air Actionraised questions about Ms Henderson’s stance after she endorsed the Baillieu era planning amendments which banned new wind farms in the windiest parts of the state.
The efforts of Y2R and SCAA sparked interest in the region and was reported on by TheSurf Coast Times.
A week out from election day, there’s still time for Ms Henderson to reexamine her stance and adopt a position consistent with community views.
Over three quarters of Australians support more wind farms. The Surf Coast Energy Group had plans of a community-owned wind farm project and Surf Coast Air Action will soon undertake a research report on how to transition from polluting coal power to clean renewable energy sources such as wind.
Blustery 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.”
After publishing a report on the Coalition candidate for Corangamite Sarah Henderson’s support for the state government’s anti wind farm laws, Yes 2 Renewables received the following letter from Corangamite residents Mik Aidt and Anthony Gleeson.
Mik is a Geelong-based sustainability journalist and founder of Parents for Climate Action. Hailing from Denmark, which is a world leader in wind energy, Aidt tells me Danes support clean renewable energy from the wind and find the opposition here in Australia bizarre. Mik is spearheading a petition to encourage local political leaders to make Geelong fossil fuel free. You can sign it here.
Anthony is a Corangamite resident and member of the Surf Coast Energy Group and Surf Coast Air Action. As a new grandfather, Gleeson is passionate about addressing climate change. Here’s the joint letter they sent to local publications:
Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula have played a pioneering role when it comes to wind energy in Australia.
25-years ago this month, the blades of Victoria’s first wind turbine started spinning in Breamlea—transforming the steady sea winds into clean electricity for Victorians.
The State Electricity Commission built the Breamlea turbine in 1987 to demonstrate the viability of wind energy in Victoria. We now know the SEC was onto something.
Today there are nine operating wind farms in Victoria. These farms tap the state’s vast wind energy resource to power tens of thousands of homes and businesses without the adverse health and environmental impacts caused by fossil fuels.
Unfortunately the blossoming wind energy sector came to an abrupt halt last year when the Baillieu government introduced heavy-handed planning laws that unfairly targeted wind farms.
The VC-82 amendment to the Victorian planning scheme, effectively bans wind farms from large swathes of Victoria and allow just one objector to veto wind turbine within 2 kilometres.
Meanwhile, no such restrictions apply to coal and coal-seam gas exploration and development. A local example many will be aware of is in Anglesea, where residents have no say over the coalmine and power plant less than 2 kilometres from their town.
Thanks to Premier Baillieu and his Coalition colleagues, Victoria is no longer the place to be for wind energy. Not one single wind farm has been approved in over a year—costing the state thousands of jobs, billions of dollars worth of investment and one of the best tools available for community action on climate change. Continue reading “Renewable energy is blowing in the wind”
Published by The Surf Coast Times: The increased severity of Hurricane Sandy that recently battered the east coast of the United States and Haiti reminds us of the urgent challenge of climate change. When it comes to taking action to … Continue reading Laws need the winds of change