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Wind farm no-go zones to be established  

Credit:  Anthony Stewart, ABC News, www.abc.net.au 29 August 2011 ~~

The State Government is set to introduce new planning rules that will restrict where wind farms can be constructed.

Sweeping changes to the rules governing the construction of wind farms in Victoria will be gazetted today.

The Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, has amended local government planning schemes and state planning provisions that will deliver on a Coalition election promise to create wind farm no-go zones.

Wind farms will be prohibited in areas including along the Great Ocean Road, Mornington Peninsula, Macedon and Yarra Ranges and Wilsons Promontory.

The Government has formalised the set-back policy that stops the construction of wind turbines within two kilometres of houses, without the consent of the owner of the home.

The amendment also blocks the construction of wind turbines within five kilometres of major regional centres, a change that had not previously been flagged by the State Government.

Russell Marsh from the Clean Energy Council says the two kilometre setback policy will result in billions of dollars in lost investment

“The two kilometre setback the Government was talking about would reduce investment in wind energy in Victoria by 50 and 70 per cent,” he said.

“We were forecasting over $3 billion in investment will disappear from Victoria because of the two kilometre setback policy.”

The State Opposition’s planning spokesman, Brian Tee, says the Government has changed planning rules by stealth.

He says the Planning Minister should have introduced legislation if he wanted to block wind farm development.

“He absolutely should have brought this to the Parliament because this is going to have serious consequences,” he said.

“He hasn’t got the balance right and the cost is going to be paid by the environment.”

Cam Walker, from Friends of the Earth, says the policy is a backward step, and does not have popular support.

“We need to remember they didn’t actually run on climate change. They went completely dead on the issue of climate change,” he said.

“The Greens and the ALP spoke about it in great detail. So I would continue to say they have no mandate to implement this policy.”

Source:  Anthony Stewart, ABC News, www.abc.net.au 29 August 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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