On Tuesday June 18 a rally was held on lawns in front of Parliament House in Canberra to protest against the damage that industrial wind turbine developments are causing to rural communities, landscape, heritage and especially the national economy.
The rally was attended by representatives of community groups and associations from across Australia – from as far away as Western Australia and Far North Queensland.
Every state in Australia sent representations to the rally.
Members and office bearers of local Landscape Guardian groups represented those in our area deeply concerned about the economic and landscape consequences of industrial wind turbines across the Southern Tablelands. The Ngambri elder, Shane Mortimer, welcomed the hundreds attending the rally to his peoples? traditional lands and spoke about his battle to prevent the desecration of those sacred lands by industrial wind turbines.
The rally heard from those who live in close proximity to wind turbines speak of the health and economic repercussions they are suffering.
Other speakers included Federal politicians from across the country. Senators Ron Boswell, Chris Back and John Madigan as well as Craig Kelly MP all outlined the economic drain of this industry on the Australian economy and householders.
Wind turbine developments are issued with large-scale Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to the value of approximately $500,000 per turbine per year.
Federal Member for Hume, Hon. Alby Schultz, has stated that RECs issued are expected to exceed $50 billion and that in his electorate of Hume, the REC subsidy for new turbines, excluding existing ones, is set to reach $500 million to $1 billion per year.
Local Federal Parliamentary candidate, Angus Taylor (see separate article below), spoke powerfully to the rally and reiterated the February 13 parliamentary speech of Alby Schultz by mentioning that if the wind industry subsidy for Hume were given to the electorate to spend we could reduce emissions by 50 per cent more than is achieved through the wind turbines.
We could solve every major infrastructure problem inside the Hume electorate.
We could: duplicate the Barton Highway, $600 million; rebuild the Goulburn hospital, $150 million; set up CCTV cameras in every major town to prevent crime, $2 million; fix mobile phone and TV reception black spots, for example, in Crookwell, $2 million; and pay off the Yass council debt of $18 million for heightening the dam wall.
After three years of using the subsidy to fix infrastructure problems, we could hand back all of the subsidy to the government to reduce electricity prices – up to $7 billion over seven years.
The rally emphasised that Australia cannot afford industrial wind turbines – they are industrial power generators that require base-load power to operate, are intermittent, are damaging to the environment and rural communities, are very expensive to the electrical consumer in Australia and do little or nothing to reduce carbon emissions.
Chalk and cheese
COMPARING the lunchtime sit-in by Canberra office workers in the Canberra CBD with the anti-wind farm rally on the steps of Parliament House is like comparing chalk and cheese, or apples and oranges, says Liberal candidate for Hume Angus Taylor
“The renewables sit-in was organised by Get-Up, an established left wing Greens activist organisation with tens of thousands of members. It was classic ‘slactivism’, which Get-Up specialises in: bring a long a some speakers, a megaphone, and a few people with placards, to a public square where you already have a crowd. Attract some more passers by with some noise. Then claim it is a ‘rally’, and claim victory. The truth is, it was not a ‘rally’ at all,” he said.
Mr Taylor added: “A bunch of office workers in Canberra sitting in the midday sun during their lunch hour listing to someone who has come literally to their to their doorstep is very different from a crowd of 364 people who come purposefully to the steps of Parliament House from communities all over Australia. Those 364 people also had thousands of protest signatures with them from people who live in wind farm affected communities. They were farmers, country solicitors, doctors, teachers, greenies, tradies – all of whom have first-hand experience of living with wind farms.
“Furthermore, Get-Up and the wind industry sneakily conflate the issue. Most people at the wind farm rally are all for renewables, as am I. However, we are not for wind energy. It costs more than other means of reducing carbon emissions, and crowds out the development of other renewables. It is economic and policy lunacy. At the same time the development of wind energy in the Hume electorate is tearing small, once cohesive communities apart.”
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding