Ararat residents affiliated with the Victorian Wind Alliance have met with Dan Tehan, Liberal party member for Wannon, urging him to support the Renewable Energy Target.
With the Challicum Hills wind farm already operating in the region, this community is well aware of the benefits wind farms deliver. This is why they have launched a petition calling on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to leave the Renewable Energy Target alone.
he region is set to benefit from another wave of wind farm development, but only if the Renewable Energy Target is kept as it is. The 84MW Crowlands wind farm project is in the pipeline. If built, it will enough electricity to power 51,000 Victorian homes.
Yes 2 Renewables estimate the Crowlands wind farm will create:
Around 80 construction jobs.
Up to seven ongoing jobs in operations and maintenance.
Senator Madigan, whose credibility on wind farms has been thoroughly debunked, has had a letter published in The Courierrebutting Andrew Bray of the VicWind Alliance. In it, the Senator perpetuates claims wind farms cause health impacts. Madigan refers to the “real-life consequences of wind turbines” and argues the wind energy/health issue must be “fully investigated by independent organisations before our landscape becomes dotted with more and more turbines.”
The Courier was sent the following letter by Yes 2 Renewables:
Over the last few years the rollout of wind farms in Australia has faced some setbacks, yet the sector’s fortunes are changing.
In 2011 Victoria’s Coalition government imposed onerous restrictions on wind farms, which stalled the sector’s development and cost thousands of jobs and billions in investment in that state.
More recently on a national level, Senators Madigan and Xenophon have pushed similarly restrictive legislation in the Senate and the Coalition’s reluctance to support the 41,000 GWh Renewable Energy Target is creating uncertainty for developers.
The impact of these policy issues have been amplified by a noisy minority of anti-wind farm campaigners. The Waubra Foundation and website, Stop These Things, among others, have attempted to turn the public against clean, renewable energy generated from the wind.
Taking a chapter out of the climate deniers playbook, they consistently raise doubts about the technology. The anti-wind lobby repeatedly claim wind farms cause 233 health problems despite 19 reviews showing wind energy to be clean and safe.
While the anti-wind farm campaign has bought into its own rhetoric, the Australian public hasn’t. Poll after poll shows the majority of Australians support more wind farms. These people come from all walks of life – blue-collar workers who see the jobs potential of the sector; farmers who want to drought-proof their land by hosting turbines; and environmentally conscious community members who want to be a part of climate change solutions.
If there are two things about wind farms that we know from decades of experience both here and overseas, it’s that wind is quiet and having more wind in the grid reduces the cost of power.
It’s a source of constant frustration that when opponents of wind try to argue that the opposite is the case, they routinely ignore the wads of credible research that exist if that research doesn’t suit their argument. People living in wind communities deserve better treatment than this and deserve to have access to real information.
JASON “Grub” Bannam loves his job. Working as a welder on massive wind towers has taught the former postie many things, and he enjoys the camaraderie of his workplace, too.
But he worries that his job may go the way that others at his company have, with uncertainty in the wind energy market and cheaper imports stopping companies from buying the towers that his company, Keppel Prince Engineering, (KPE) produces.
KPE in Portland, far south-west Victoria, used to employ 120 people directly in its with tower division, but that workforce is now down to 65 because work has dried up.
The company is currently building the massive white towers for a wind farm in New South Wales, but production supervisor Stuart Batten says there is only three months’ worth of work left in that, and unless there are new contracts coming up the company will probably have to lay off more workers.
It’s a favorite line of people opposing particular wind farm developments – ‘Wind Farm X is causing great concern in the community’.
Now and again, it’s worth remembering just how many people there are in the community who are not at all concerned.
Our letter in today’s Ballarat Courier…
WIND FARMS BRING LOCAL WINDFALLS
Ballarat Courier, May 1, 2013
It would be unusual for a $300 million investment in a regional area to be greeted with ‘a lot of community concern’, as John McMahon suggests about the Lal Lal Wind Farm ($300m wind project begins, 27/4/2013).
Macarthur district residents, Merilyn Cook and Hamish Officer, together with representatives from the Victorian Wind Alliance (VicWind), met with local MP, Dan Tehan in Warrnambool on Tuesday to discuss the benefits the Macarthur Wind Farm is bringing to their community.
“There’s a historic opportunity right now to benefit from this shift of power generation from coal and gas regions to wind regions like South West Victoria,” said Mr Bray, VicWind’s State Coordinator.
“With 20 locals permanently employed, the Macarthur wind farm is now the biggest single employer in this rural district.” said Mr Bray.
Groups representing wind workers and community members hand delivered a joint statement to the Premier’s electorate office in Warrnambool. The joint statement called for Dr Napthine to rewrite anti-wind farm planning laws and unlock jobs in southwest Victoria.
Several media outlets reported on the joint statement:
Just three weeks after Premier Napthine opened the Macarthur wind farm, a coalition of southwest Victorian and supporting groups have released a joint statement calling on the Premier to rewrite anti-wind farm planning laws and unlock jobs in southwest Victoria.
The joint statement will be hand delivered to staff at Premier Napthine’s electorate office this morning.
The powerful coalition of pro-wind energy voices who spearheaded the joint statement include:
When the Macarthur wind farm, the southern hemisphere’s largest wind farm, was officially launched on Friday it marked the completion of a remarkable journey for local farmers Tom Robertson and Hamish and Anna Officer.
In 2001 Tom, Hamish and Anna began their search for companies who would build a wind farm to generate clean, renewable energy on their properties, 20km east of Macarthur in South Western Victoria.
In the 12 years since then, with long months of challenging negotiations, a global financial crisis and numerous twists and turns there were several times when all seemed lost. But finally in 2011 luck started running their way and the contract for the project we see today was signed.
As Vestas global Chief Executive Ditlev Engel, who traveled from Copenhagen for the opening, said, quoting Walt Disney, “if you can dream it, do it.”