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More barriers to wind farms likely by Senate vote  

Credit:  CHRIS McLENNAN | The Weekly Times | June 19, 2015 | www.weeklytimesnow.com.au ~~

The Federal Senate will likely vote on the renewable energy target on Monday.

The vote, schedules for yesterday, was delayed by last-minute negotiations between the Government and crossbenchers to further control wind farms.

The RET is critical to investment in more renewable energy power in Australia and political debate has caused long delays to projects ready to be built in Victoria.

Wind farms worth almost $5 billion are poised to go in Victoria.

Thirteen projects with 854 turbines have won municipal council and State Government support.

Wind farm developments near Mortlake, Ballarat, Ararat, Warrnambool, Port Fairy, Ballan, Colac and St Arnaud can begin the moment the Federal Government signs off on the RET.

Energy companies have said turbines could be built within two years of the RET getting the green light.

There are concerns the Federal Government will introduced new rules with its RET to reflect Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s personal dislike of turbines.

He said on Wednesday that wind turbines were “visually awful”.

Both the ALP and the Government now support the introduction of a 33,000 GWh RET, which is much less than wind farm supporters originally wanted.

One trade-off in talks with crossbenchers has been the appointment of a wind farm commissioner and an ombudsman to investigate wind farms’ possible impacts on health.

Senators Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm, Jacqui Lambie and John Madigan have raised concerns about health impacts.

There are currently 14 wind farms in Victoria, with 500 turbines.

The Victorian Government has tried to promote more investment in wind farms by reducing the exclusion zone around dwellings from winds farms from 2km to 1km.

Source:  CHRIS McLENNAN | The Weekly Times | June 19, 2015 | www.weeklytimesnow.com.au

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

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