October 11, 2011

Nationals conference: moratorium on all wind farms

Yass Tribune, www.yasstribune.com.au 12 October 2011

The National Party has passed a motion calling for a moratorium on wind farm developments at its state conference at the weekend.

James Harker-Mortlock, chairman of the Burrinjuck Nationals, confirmed the motion had been passed in Port Macquarie over the weekend.

“The motion calls for a moratorium on all future wind farm developments, including those for which applications have been lodged, until all social (including health), financial (including property rights) and environmental aspects have been fully investigated,” Mr Harker-Mortlock stated.

However, National Party leader Andrew Stoner said the government isn’t bound by the decisions made at the weekend.

Member for Burrinjuck and Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson, could not confirm that the government would uphold the moratorium. However, the MP did say the government hasn’t accepted or approved any new wind farm developments since coming into office.

“No further applications will be accepted until the NSW government has implemented its new state significant assessment framework and the NSW Wind Farm Planning Guidelines,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

The local member said the government wanted guidelines to protect local communities in regional Australia.

“The Minister for Planning and Infrastructure, Brad Hazzard, has instructed the department to undertake an immediate audit of wind farm developments to ensure all turbines are operating within existing noise controls and consistent with the terms of their development consent.

“Any future wind farm developments will now be determined at arms-length from the Minister for Planning and Infrastructure by the independent Planning Assessment Commission,” she said.

Although the NSW Nationals agree that looking at the potential hazards is a good idea, they want to put a hold on applications that have been lodged.

Mick Veitch, the duty MLC for Burrinjuck, said he’ll be interested to see how or if the government implements the decisions made by the National Party.

“I can’t see the Liberal Party agreeing to a process that puts on hold applications… The reality is they have to get on with governing the state,” Mr Veitch said.

There are currently around 300 turbines being planned for the Yass district.

URL to article:  https://www.wind-watch.org/news/2011/10/11/nationals-conference-moratorium-on-all-wind-farms/