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Wind farms face blow of change in NSW  

Credit:  By NSW political reporter Mark Tobin and staff, 1233 ABC Newcastle, www.abc.net.au 20 December 2011 ~~

The New South Wales Government is today discussing the future of wind energy in the state, as pressure is brought to bear within the Coalition for a halt to new developments.

Wind energy is on the agenda for today’s Cabinet meeting.

Premier Barry O’Farrell said in August that if it was up to him no new wind farms would be approved.

Another of those in the meeting, Nationals MP and Roads Minister Duncan Gay, is on the record as opposing wind power.

“It’s divided my community. It’s put friends against friends, neighbours against neighbours,” he said.

There is also pressure from Coalition figures at a federal level.

Federal Liberal MP Alby Shultz is pushing for a moratorium, while describing members of the State Government as “incompetent”.

“The more I looked at this industry the more I was convinced that this was a serious issue and for eight months now I have tried to convince the Premier and his ministers, some of whom are just totally incompetent, that they should be looking at this issue,” Mr Shultz said.

Shooters and Fishers MP Robert Borsak says the cross-bench party intends to use its critical numbers in the NSW Upper House to oppose any wind farm proposal that comes to Parliament.

“We think a halt should be called to the whole process,” he said.

Opposition spokesman Luke Foley says a hard stance against wind energy would cost NSW billions.

“I am worried that Mr O’Farrell has been hostile to solar energy and more so to the development of wind,” Mr Foley said.

Greens MP John Kaye says restrictions imposed by Victoria’s Coalition Government have all but destroyed that state’s wind industry.

“If today’s Cabinet follows the Victorian example we will see a policy coming out that devastates the wind industry,” Dr Kaye said.

“In Victoria almost all of the state is no-go for new projects. In New South Wales that means a loss of about $10 billion of investment.”

Source:  By NSW political reporter Mark Tobin and staff, 1233 ABC Newcastle, www.abc.net.au 20 December 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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