Anti-windfarm laws: what are they costing Victoria?
The impact of implementing “no-go” zones for wind farms in some of the best windy areas of the state, and an unprecedented 2km setback from residences, is estimated at $887 million in lost investment, and 2,100 jobs that will now not be created.
The future of wind energy is looking grim in Victoria, despite proving its worth across the border in South Australia, where in the first quarter of 2012 it provided 31% of that state’s electricity, with falling carbon emissions and wholesale electricity prices.
The state has in recent weeks seen a spate of public meetings organised by anti-windfarm groups and Senator Madigan, with speakers questioning or condemning the wind industry’s role in the state.
“Some workers at Keppel Prince Engineering in Portland, who make the towers for wind turbines, were sadly laid off last week due to a drop in demand for wind towers,” said Friends of the Earth campaigner Ben Courtice.
“This is due to the inadequacies of the Federal Renewable Energy Target, but it is also a picture of what we’ll see if the state laws are not repealed.
“Next year another eight planned wind farms face having their permits expire. If they are forced to re-apply under the draconian 2011 planning laws, many of these will also fall.
“The example in South Australia is compelling. You can’t deny the success of providing clean power there. Why is Victoria missing out? It’s time these laws were re-assessed.”