A conservation group has called for the Bellarine Peninsula to be opened up to wind farms despite a State Government pledge to keep turbines away from tourism destinations.
The Friends of the Earth yesterday told a Senate inquiry into green energy projects that there was widespread community support for wind farms.
Before the state election the Coalition vowed to keep wind farms away from the Peninsula and the Great Ocean Road.
But Friends of the Earth campaign director Cam Walker described the government’s proposal for a two-kilometre buffer between turbines and homes, and a ban on wind farms in tourism areas as “arbitrary policy decisions”.
“All of these landscapes are heavily modified … it’s not like they haven’t been developed in the past,” he said of the Bellarine Peninsula.
There was no scientific proof that wind farms caused adverse health affects to those living nearby, he said.
He added that studies had shown windows posed a greater threat to bird life than the blades of wind turbines.
But Planning Minister Matthew Guy was unmoved in his opposition to wind farms for the the region’s coastal areas.
“We have no plans to open the Bellarine up to hundreds of wind farms,” he said.