Pro-wind energy coalition call for Premier to rewrite wind farm laws, unlock jobs in southwest Victoria

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.

MEDIA Release - Tuesday April 30

Pro-wind energy coalition call for Premier to rewrite wind farm laws, unlock jobs in southwest Victoria

Just three weeks after Premier Napthine opened the Macarthur wind farm, a coalition of southwest Victorian and supporting groups have released a joint statement (available here) 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:  

  •     Victoria's primary wind turbine tower manufacturer, Keppel Prince Engineering of Portland
  •     The region's labour organisation, South West Trades and Labour Council
  •     Sustainability groups, Portland Sustainability Group and South West Environmental Action Group
  •     The Victorian Wind Alliance (VicWind), and
  •     Friends of the Earth's Yes 2 Renewables campaign.

Dozens of employed and recently retrenched wind workers have thrown their weight behind the joint statement and made a virtual appearance at the electorate office.

The government's restrictive planning laws--including arbitrarily established 'no-go' zones for wind farms and 2km right of veto to block new projects--has cost Victoria $887 in lost or stalled investment, 650 construction jobs and 54 ongoing jobs.

The joint statement draws attention to the economic and jobs benefits wind energy delivers southwest Victoria. The Oaklands and Macarthur wind farms delivered a $67 million boost as well as the 900 construction jobs and 52 ongoing jobs.  

"Wind energy is good for jobs and good for the southwest economy." said Andrew Bray, state coordinator of the Victorian Wind Alliance. "Two thirds of the wind turbines now operating in Victoria are located in Premier Napthine's electorate. The Premier knows firsthand how wind energy benefits the community."

The groups behind the joint statement believe Premier Napthine's attendance at the opening ceremony for the Macarthur wind farm signals a willingness to recalibrate the government's restrictive wind farm planning laws.

"Premier Napthine to has shifted his government’s position on wind energy by endorsing the Macarthur wind farm. Now it’s time for the Premier to take the next step and restore fair laws for wind energy," concludes Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's Yes 2 Renewables spokesperson.

"We look forward to receiving correspondence from the Premier and starting a conversation about how Victoria can reclaim its position of leadership in wind energy," added Ewbank.

Contact:

Leigh Ewbank, Friends of the Earth's Yes 2 Renewables spokesperson - 0406 316 176

Andrew Bray, VicWind state coordinator - 0434 769 463

Images:

Press conference spokespeople will appear with photographs of employed and recently retrenched wind workers. The press are free to use the images. A preview of the photographs is attached. The gallery of photographs can be found here: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4qeph8gtdv101wa/JhO5o7iRYv#/