Premier Napthine’s support for Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws put him at odds with community

March 14, 2013


Victoria’s new Premier Denis Napthine reaffirmed the government’s opposition to wind farms this morning in an interview with ABC Radio’s Jon Faine.

Premier Napthine’s public embrace of anti-wind farm laws passed by the Baillieu government puts him at odds with the community, who overwhelmingly support wind power.

“Poll after poll after poll shows Victorians want more wind power,” said Yes 2 Renewables spokesperson, Leigh Ewbank.  “Premier Napthine’s endorsement of the Ted Baillieu’s retrograde wind farm planning guidelines puts him out-of-step with the community’s views.”

Polls consistently show Victorians strongly support wind farms. A poll commissioned by Pacific Hydro in 2012 demonstrates 82 percent of Victorians support more wind power in the state.

A similar poll conducted for the Clean Energy Council shows 60 percent of Victorians view restrictions on wind farms as a missed opportunity to support the manufacturing sector.

“Premier Napthine’s anti-wind farm stance cuts off a crucial economic lifeline for a state in recession,” added Ewbank.   

“Dr Napthine’s endorsement of anti-wind farm laws is puzzling, as the sector has delivered huge economic and environmental benefits to his own electorate—the seat of South West Coast.”

Wind energy has benefited Dr Napthine more than any other politician in the state.  Two-thirds of the state’s wind turbines are located in Napthine’s electorate and more than 60 people are now employed in wind turbine tower manufacturing at Keppel Prince in Portland.

The South West Coast has boomed from the construction of wind farms. Analysis by Sinclair Knight Mertz estimate the Macarthur and Oaklands projects have pumped $67 million into the local economy, employed around 900 people during construction, and will provide 52 ongoing jobs.

“Based on the strong community support and the proven economic benefits of wind power, we urge the Premier to reconsider his position.”

Media Contact: Leigh Ewbank, Yes 2 Renewables spokesperson - 0406 316 176