South Barwon Residents call on MP Andrew Katos to Stand Up for Wind Energy

August 10, 2012


South Barwon residents concerned with the Baillieu government’s track record on climate change and renewable energy are calling on local Liberal MP Andrew Katos to stand up for sensible wind farm planning laws.

Local residents will join Friends of the Earth’s Yes 2 Renewables Campaign in a letterboxing campaign of the area.

The Baillieu government’s 2011 planning laws ban wind farms from large parts of the South Barwon electorate and just one objector can stop any wind turbine within 2km.

In contrast to the onerous planning conditions that target wind, coal and coal?seam gas exploration and development is permitted across the electorate. Anglesea residents, for example, have no say over the  coalmine just half a kilometre from their town.

“The Baillieu government is picking winners when it comes to our energy supply,” says Friends of the Earth Renewables campaigner Leigh Ewbank.

“The Premier is prepared to sacrifice the investment, local  manufacturing and construction jobs that wind energy projects can deliver because of a personal distaste for renewable energy.”

The Baillieu government’s anti-wind farm planning amendment, VC82, was passed in August 2011.

A comprehensive report by Friends of the Earth estimates the collapse of Victoria’s wind-farm project pipeline has cost Victoria up to:  
• $887 million in lost or stalled investment
• 650 direct jobs lost or stalled in construction
• 54 on-going jobs in management of wind farms
• 1408 indirectly associated (flow-on) jobs
• Projects totalling up to 204 turbines and 408MW of generating capacity

“The Baillieu government has failed Victorians on climate change and energy,” said campaigner Leigh Ewbank. “Victorians have waited long enough for the government to adopt a reasonable position on wind energy planning guidelines.

South Barwon locals who support sensible wind energy planning guidelines, jobs and investment want to send the government a message.”

“At precisely the time when we need to roll out renewables and tackle climate change, the Baillieu government has made it more difficult to shift to clean, renewable forms of  energy,” said Ewbank.

“Premier Ted Baillieu, Planning Minister Matthew Guy, and local member Andrew Katos can create jobs, attract investment, and deliver carbon-free energy and cheaper electricity prices for the South Barwon region. All they have to do is repeal VC82 and once again make Victoria ‘the place to be’ for wind energy.”

Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s Yes 2 Renewables campaigner

0406 316 176