Victorian Senator John Madigan has discovered the recent construction of the controversial Bald Hills wind farm is in breach of three international migratory bird agreements.
The 135 meter tall wind turbines, each higher than the Sydney Harbour Bridge, are proposed to sit in the middle of a migration route and high conservation value bird sanctuary. The approval of the development means Australia is in violation of the Japan Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (JAMBA), the China Australia Migratory Bird Agreement (CAMBA), and the Bonn Convention.
“JAMBA states that each government shall endeavour to take appropriate measures to preserve and enhance the environment of birds protected under the provisions of this Agreement. In particular, it shall: (a) seek means to prevent damage to such birds and their environment,” Senator Madigan said.
“I fail to see how we can prevent damage to birds and their environment by allowing 52 huge towers with fast moving turbines blades to be built in the middle of a sanctuary that is home to 292 recorded bird species. 30 birds species, including two critically endangered species, are listed under JAMBA. This development risks creating a killing field in South Gippsland and displacing millions of birds visits away from their established flyways, migration routes, roosting and breeding sanctuary.”
“I am sure the Japanese government will be unhappy that a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui, a large Japanese company, is the wind farm developer. If it goes ahead, this development will hurt Japanese migratory birds. However, it is up to the Australian government to stop Mitsui and to protect Japanese and Chinese migratory birds as well as our own bird species.”
“On behalf of my constituents in South Gippsland I have written to Environment Minister, Tony Burke, asking him to intervene and stop the development of the wind farm, and to bring Australia into line with our international obligations to Japan and China. A copy of my letter to Minister Burke has also been forwarded to the Japanese and Chinese embassies.”
“Australia’s approval of the proposed Bald Hills wind farm places Australia in clear breach of our international agreements to Japan and China.”
“This is a very serious matter. I am expecting and hoping Minister Burke will do the responsible thing by stopping this harmful development, lest Australia be painted as a hypocrite in the eyes of Japan and China when it comes to the protection of migratory species.”
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