The New South Wales Premier has expressed his disdain for wind energy, saying he hopes the state does not give approval for any more wind-farms.
The application process to erect turbines was changed after the Coalition won power at the March election.
Applications are now referred to the state’s Planning Assessment Commission.
Premier Barry O’Farrell says for the first time the commission has to take community concerns into account.
Mr O’Farrell has told the Macquarie radio network that 19 wind-farm applications were received before the election and none since.
“I’m told no new applications have been lodged. We haven’t approved any applications and if I had my way we wouldn’t,” Mr O’Farrell said.
“None of this would be necessary if the Federal Government hadn’t signed up to a 20 per cent renewable energy target.”
The Premier is not the first member of his Government to express disquiet about wind power.
Last month his deputy Andrew Stoner, in response to a report on the ABC’s Four Corners program, commented on Twitter than while city Greens love turbines, it is country people that have to live with them.
Mr O’Farrell’s comments have alarmed Jeff Angel, from the Total Environment Centre.
Mr Angel says he is concerned Mr O’Farrell is pre-empting the Government’s promise of a new renewable energy strategy.
“I hope the Premier was perhaps momentarily pandering to someone’s shock-jock audience, but it’s certainly not an appropriate statement when you’re developing a renewable energy policy, when you had a very firm election promise,” he said.
He says before the March election the Coalition also supported the renewable energy targets the Premier is criticising.
“There is no doubt that wind farms will make up a big proportion of that,” Mr Angel said.
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