Coalition Wind Farm policy a worrying entry to environment debate

After waiting many months for the release of Coalition policies on the environment, Ted Baillieu's first foray into the realm of environment does not bode well for the Party in the build up to the state election.

Media release
May 14, 2010

 
After waiting many months for the release of Coalition policies on the environment, Ted Baillieu's first foray into the realm of environment does not bode well for the Party in the build up to the state election.

“This is the first climate or renewable energy policy we've had from the Coalition in the run-up to the November election, and so has been met with considerable anticipation by the environment movement. Yet it seems designed to prevent investment in renewable energy”, said Friends of the Earth campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker.

“Choosing to launch a policy on renewable energy when he has not consulted the renewable energy industry and which seems to be a wish list from the Landscape Guardians is nothing less than bizarre.”

“Everyone agrees that there have been a range of problems with the roll out of renewable energy, especially wind energy, in the state. In its Green Jobs package ('Jobs for the Future  Economy') released late last month, the State government has sought to clarify planning processes for this type of development in order to remove these problems. This plan proposes a 'green door' program to facilitate renewable energy projects but only if developers commit to applying good practice consultation principles with local communities. These are clearly spelt out in the package”.

“The government's Green Jobs package sets out the type of approach that we will need if we want to drive innovation in renewables. What Mr  Baillieu is proposing is policy that is backward looking and destructive to investment in renewables and the creation of many new green jobs across the state – especially in rural Victoria”.

“We hope that his next environment announcement is more constructive and more aligned with the wishes of the broader community. Most people want to see a massive expansion of the renewable energy industry in Victoria. Mr Baillieu's 'no go' zones for wind farms cover large areas of the state most suited to wind farms. We need decisions for new farms to be based on sound policy, not simply on the concerns of vested interest groups”.

Further comment: Cam Walker 0419 338 047