A state Liberal politician has backed comments by the ALP Moorabool mayor Pat Griffin, launching his own attack on the wind industry.
Western Victoria MLC Simon Ramsay said wind farm operators worked in secrecy, negotiated landholder against landholder and ignored the impacts of their 150-metre turbines.
“Since I was elected to parliament I cannot think of one legislative policy that has divided rural communities more than wind farm planning,” Mr Ramsay, a former Victorian Farmers Federation president, said.
“Generational friends who have lived together and have had children together in small rural communities are now not talking to each other because of the great divide.
“It has pitted those who are hosting turbines that receive thousands of dollars, community clubs who are given gifts by the wind generators, and councils who receive substantial rates, against those who are generally concerned by the health impacts, noise and windshear interference and the visual immensity of these monstrosities.”
Mr Ramsay accused wind farm companies of “wrapping themselves in green tinsel and supposed job creation”, when their machines were built mainly in Korea overseas and in countries without a carbon tax.
“Do you see the hypocrisy?” he said. “The wind farm generators know that wind farming is not economically sustainable without heavy financial support and large increases in coal fired energy pricing so they can sell into a cost competitive market,” he said.
Mr Ramsay also called for independent noise monitoring.
But Cam Walker from Friends of the Earth described Mr Ramsay’s comments as remarkable and “hardly befitting” the standards expected of an elected member of parliament.
“Mr Ramsay clearly misses the point that wind farms are built and maintained here – bringing jobs and investment – regardless of where the turbines are made,” Mr Walker said. “I look forward to the day Mr Ramsay gets equally outraged about the real threats posed by new coal mining operations in his electorate – as is happening now near Bacchus Marsh.”