The Australian Democrats have called on the federal government to get realistic about wind farm turbines and not give precedence to those who oppose them purely because they don’t like the look of them.
Democrats leader Lyn Allison said she was not surprised to hear there were angry views exchanged at a meeting of wind industry stakeholders on Monday.
Environment Minister Ian Campbell said the meeting of governments, wind energy industry and community groups over the subject of where to erect wind turbines brought together some deeply divided camps, with some displays of anger and hostility.
The meeting was called with a view to forming a national code of practice for the industry.
“While the Democrats support some sort of wind farm code or industry best practice guidelines to address site selection, environmental issues and community concerns, we would be concerned if individuals who lobby against wind farms because they don’t like the look of them are given precedence over the broader need to address climate change,” Senator Allison said in a statement.
“Climate change is a serious economic, social and environmental issue for Australia and wind farms play a key role in combating climate change.
“If the government really wants to exclude wind farms from windy coastal sites then it should extend MRET and introduce an emissions trading system that would make wind energy generation viable on less windy sites.”
She said it was time to be realistic about wind turbines.
“All around us there are apartment buildings, office towers, bridges, monuments, power stations, and power lines that fill our landscape. Wind farms are no different, and in many respects are less obtrusive,” Senator Allison said.
“We should be educating communities of the benefits of wind farms and getting them behind renewable energy projects.”
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