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Wind rallies target for and against

Liberal candidate for Hume Angus Taylor spoke at a rally in Canberra on Tuesday protesting the massive subsidies going into windfarms that he says come at the expense of electricity users and local communities.

People from Yass, Goulburn, Crookwell, Collector and other towns across Hume attended the event.

It co-incided with another rally, in Canberra’s CBD – in support of windfarms.

Mr Taylor spoke alongside a number of parliamentarians and concerned community members who were pushing strongly for a review of the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

The rally, which attracted people from all over Australia, also drew attention to the plight of neighbours whose properties, he said, had become de-valued as a result of the proliferation of windfarms.

Mr Taylor said the Southern Tablelands had more windfarms, and under current proposals, would continue to have more wind farms than any area in Australia.

“I simply laid out the economic facts of the subsides supporting the wind industry. To me and others, the economics are gobsmacking,” Mr Taylor said.

“Each new wind turbine in Hume is subsidised by electricity consumers to the tune of $450,000 – $900,000 per year, depending on the size of the turbine.

“And that’s over and above the costs of reducing carbon emissions by other means.

“Given the number of wind turbines operating or planned for operation in the Hume electorate, in due course this will amount to an annual subsidy of over $500 million per year just in our region.

“With that $500m per year I could fix a lot of problems in Hume.”

Mr Taylor said that that under the current RET scheme these subsidies would only increase.

“The people from Hume and around Australia who attended the rally today were not fringe dwelling climate sceptics seeking to impede progress,” he said

“They were ordinary, right thinking people – farmers, veterinarians, country lawyers, and teachers – who have been adversely affected, or who stand to be adversely affected by the proliferation of industrial wind turbines …” he said.

More at pro-rally

DISTRICT grazier Charlie Prell, who wants to host turbines on his Crookwell property, attended both rallies.

“There were more journalists than protestors at the anti-wind farm rally, I reckon. And they were mostly older people, probably climate change skeptics who are stuck in the past,” he said.

“The pro-wind farm rally had a far more buoyant mood. That’s because of the sheer number of people who were there, I would say more than 500, and the fact that they were younger and more aware of the benefits of windfarms.”

Mr Prell, who spoke at the pro rally, wanted to remind Mr Taylor that the RET has bipartisan support.

“It needs to remain secure,” he said.

Goulburn earthmoving contractor Andy Divall said the RET was making a big difference in regional NSW.

“In the 25 years we have been in business we haven’t seen anything like the opportunities the renewables industry will bring to the region,’’ he said.

Energycareer.com.au stated that the pro rally actually attracted 700 people.

“If there’s one thing that the duelling wind rallies in Canberra proved, it’s that Aussies are behind wind power. And that means new opportunities for wind entrepreneurs and the job seekers that love them,” the site said.

“Not a lot of people showed up for shock jock Alan Jones’ well-publicised anti-wind power rally in the capital. In fact, those were Jones’ words: ‘There aren’t a lot of people here. They don’t have time or the resources.’

“Conversely, 700 came out for the hastily-arranged Friends of the Earth’s Yes2Renewables campaign rally in Canberra’s CBD.”