Victorian Labor has promised to reduce the mandatory buffer zone between properties and wind farms if it wins the state election at the end of the month.
In 2011 the Coalition Government established a two-kilometre exclusion zone around new wind farm projects in Victoria, but Labor has promised to reduce that to one kilometre.
Labor Leader Daniel Andrews said in the past four years there had only been two new wind farm projects in Victoria.
“Four years ago the current government smashed the wind energy industry by making really bad decisions about planning, bad decisions that have compromised the future of this industry,” Mr Andrews said.
He said a five-kilometre buffer zone around parks and townships would remain in place.
“I want to stress that the important protections that relate to national parks, to state parks, to population centres, the five-kilometre buffer for them … there will be no change to those settings.”
Government says move would be ‘disastrous’
Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy said Labor’s pledge would be “disastrous”.
“Daniel Andrews’ act today to remove people from planning and hand it all back to his Planning Minister, a CFMEU member, is a disaster for regional Victoria,” he said.
Mr Guy said Labor had changed its stance on wind farm planning rules.
“Labor bagged the idea of buffers around wind turbines when they came to the parliament … and attacked the Coalition Government’s planning requirements around wind turbines,” he said.
“Now today they’ve put in place buffers.”
Victorian Greens leader Greg Barber said Labor had gone back on its original earlier position not to support buffer zones.