Victoria enjoys an abundance of brown coal, which has provided cheap electrical power for generations.
It also has the best wind resources of any state on the Australian mainland.
Both energy sources have people in a spin.
Climate change is already a very real consideration for those on the land who are confused by mixed messages on the subject by our leaders.
Hazelwood Power Station in the Latrobe Valley is supposedly the worst polluter in the nation yet it produces a hefty chunk of Victoria’s baseload power.
For all the 500 wind turbines already scattered around the state, causing division wherever they go, their collective power output fails to match a single Hazelwood.
Wind may be the cheapest of the renewable energies but overseas companies need taxpayer support to compete with the Hazelwoods.
Still, it is impossible to not be excited by the $5 billion on offer for this next wave of wind farm investment in rural Victoria.
Western Victoria, in particular, stands to benefit the most from this investment.
Cash- and population-poor municipal councils wouldn’t be doing their job if they weren’t chasing their slice of this rich pie.
Yet not everyone shares the same love of wind turbines.
Curiously, those claiming to suffer health problems from the spinning blades are never those living closest, those who enjoy the rewards of sharing their land.
It goes beyond these spurious health claims to a wider community upset with a technology, which is necessarily large and obvious.
This is likely a long-term change to their beloved landscape. In our excitement, we still must hear their voice as well.
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