Eco Innovator November 2011
Victorian Wind Policy To
Send Investment Interstate
Multi-billion dollar investment
in regional Victoria and hundreds of new regional jobs will be the casualties
of the Victorian Government's 2 kilometre wind setback policy and the
prohibition of wind energy investment in large areas of the state such
as the Macedon and Yarra Ranges, says the Clean Energy Council.
Chief executive Matthew Warren
said approximately $3 billion in investment would be lost to Victoria
as a result of its new planning policy.
"Carving out large areas
of the state as no-go zones' sends a clear message that Victoria
is closed for business when it comes to future wind energy," he said.
"More than half of future wind farms proposed in Victoria will not
be built as a direct result of this policy.
"The Victorian Government
is sending jobs and investment interstate and will effectively drive up
electricity prices in Victoria. Individual landholders can effectively
hold developers to ransom under this policy by refusing to sign up to
The policy could also affect
small innovative businesses. Hepburn Wind, which recently completed Australia's
first community owned wind farm, two turbines at Daylesford in Victoria,
said that under the new regulations its wind farm would not have been
"All five community wind
proposals that we are aware of fall within these new zones," it said.
"It is hard to reconcile
these changes with the fact that just three months ago we won the coveted
Premier's Award for Sustainability in recognition of our hard work to
share the benefits of wind energy with the community."
"Since we received the
Premier's award, we began generating large amounts of clean, locally generated
energy, launched the first round of our community fund, and hired our
fourth local staff member," said Hepburn Wind.
Mr Warren said wind turbines
are quiet, safe and clean, yet the Victorian Government is imposing mandatory
setbacks on technology without consultation. The setback policy is not
based on science and is "completely arbitrary".
"The government has effectively
introduced major changes to the planning system overnight with no industry
consultation and many areas of great uncertainty still exist in relation
to the implementation of this policy," he said.
Hepburn Wind says Australias first community wind farm, in
country Victoria, would not have been possible under the Victorian Governments