2011/21: Are the wind farm guidelines for Victoria and New South Wales too restrictive?
Introduction to the media issueVideo clip at right:
A Channel 10 news report from August 29, 2011, detailing the restrictions the Victorian government has put on the placement of wind farms in that state. If you cannot see this clip, it will be because video is blocked by your network. To view the clip, access from home or from a public library, or from another network which allows viewing of video clips.
What they said...
'The economic impact in an area which depends on tourists is shattered by the intrusion on the landscape of 300-foot [90-metre] wind turbines'
Former television chef Peter Russell-Clarke
'So in NSW u can build a gas well within 200m of a home, or 5-8m of a future home, but a wind turbine should be 2km away. Go figure #nswpol'
A Twitter post cited to Max Phillips, a Marrickville Greens councillor
The issue at a glance
On August 29, 2011, the Victorian government released its new planning laws for wind farms. The recently-elected Baillieu government announced it was amending the previous planning laws to give Victorian households the power to veto wind turbines within two kilometres of their homes.
Turbines will also be banned in the Macedon and McHarg ranges, in the Yarra Valley, on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas, and within five kilometres of the Great Ocean Road and the Bass Coast. They will also be prohibited within five kilometres of 21 other Victorian regional centres
The state government has claimed that it still favours wind farm development and that it is only respecting the rights of property owners and ensuring balanced development. Opponents of the Victorian changes claimed they are a major impediment to wind farm development in the state, threaten jobs in this new sector and seriously undermine the state's claims to being environmentally aware and in favour of clean, renewable energy sources.
On December 23, 2011, the New South Wales government foreshadowed similar planning laws to those recently adopted in Victoria. The New South Wales government also announced that it remains committed to a 20 percent renewable energy target by 2020. Critics of the draft proposal argue that it makes the target impossible.