Abbott govt’s wind energy/health review unnecessary, a waste of taxpayer money

January 26, 2014

The Abbott government’s announcement of yet another review of wind energy and health is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money.

“Australia’s authority on medical health research, the NHMRC, has just completed a review of wind energy and health. The government should make the findings of this investigation public before commencing another review,” said Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth’s renewable energy spokesperson.

“Announcing a new review while keeping the NHMRC’s findings secret looks suspicious. What is the Abbott government trying to hide?”

“Victorian Premier Dennis Napthine’s support for the Abbott review suggests he doesn’t have confidence in the Victorian Department of Health who concluded wind energy is safe in a review released in May 2013.”

The Abbott government’s announcement satisfies the wishes of anti-wind energy campaigners who have a track record urging more research, while ignoring findings that show wind energy is clean and safe.

Australia’s most active wind farm opposition group, the Waubra Foundation, has links to the Liberal party. Former Liberal politicians Michael Wooldridge and Alby Schultz hold positions at the organisation.

“Anti-wind farm campaigners aren’t satisfied with the 19 reviews by credible health bodies who show wind energy is clean and safe. Why waste more taxpayer money on another study when wind farm opponents have already made up their mind?”

All available public polling shows wind energy enjoys strong public support. Wind energy is the cheapest form of generation. It creates jobs and drought-proof income for farmers while addressing climate change.

Polling by Essential Research conducted in June 2013 shows massive 76 percent of Australians support building more wind farms. Wind energy is even highly popular among Coalition voters, with 71 percent supporting more wind farms.

“It’s puzzling that a Prime Minister who has suffered a significant drop in support in the polls would stall the popular wind energy sector,” said Ewbank.

“It’s in the interest of Prime Minister Abbott to pursue policies that reflect mainstream public opinion. All available public polling shows Australians overwhelmingly support more wind farms.

Leigh Ewbank
0406 316 176
Yes 2 Renewables community coordinator