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ALP re-election prompts mixed wind farm views

The Australian Wind Energy Association says it is relieved the Labor Party has remained in government after the weekend’s state election.

The association criticised the Liberal Party during the election because of its plans to scrap the Victorian Renewable Energy Target (VRET).

Association chief executive Dominique La Fontaine says the result renews confidence in the industry, and more wind projects can go ahead.

“It’s, of course, a relief because we can now look forward and the fact of will the VRET be around, will it be repealed was a big concern to our members,” she said.

“Now the VRET, the 10 per cent is a target here to stay, and companies that are going to be investing in wind energy can look to doing that and investing quite significantly in areas of regional Victoria.”

But wind farm opponents say the election result is a disaster for Victoria’s landscape.

The president of the Victorian Landscape Guardians, Randall Bell, says Labor’s victory means a lot more wind farms will be built.

“They don’t work. They will never, ever stop a shovel full of coal in the Latrobe Valley,” he said.

“But I think we’ve got to learn something from the French farmers. We’ve got to learn that it’s a very conventional part of our democracy to blockade. We’ve done it before successfully and it goes back to Eureka when I think that we overcame an enormous amount of apathy.”