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Independent calls for moratorium on wind farms

A moratorium should be imposed on the construction of more wind farms because of their serious health effects, independent Wannon candidate Bernardine Atkinson says.

Ms Atkinson raised her concerns about the health effects of wind farms at The Standard’s online forum with Wannon candidates this week but none of the other candidates expressed similar concerns.

Speaking after the forum, Ms Atkinson said government studies had found no significant adverse health effects from wind farms because they had not measured the low frequency infrasound generated by wind turbines that was causing problems.

She said Australia should be pursuing nuclear and new generation solar energy instead.

Another independent Wannon candidate Michael McCluskey said if more people with a science background were elected to parliament, the debate about renewable energy would have concluded and more action would be underway. Mr Cluskey, a veterinarian, said renewable energy was economic “common sense.”

Liberal member Dan Tehan said the Coalition’s plan for 20 per cent of electricity to come from renewable energy by 2020 had given certainty to the renewable energy sector.

That certainty had created more jobs such as at Portland engineering firm Keppel Price that was making turbine towers for the new Ararat wind farm, he said.

Labor candidate Michael Barling said renewable energy targets did make an impact on climate change because when the targets were uncertain, global emissions increased.

Mr Barling said Labor’s target for 50 per cent of electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030 would drive investment and lower the price of renewable energy.

Greens candidate Thomas Campbell said the Greens wanted 90 per cent of electricity to come from renewable energy by 2030.

He said jobs were lost in the renewable energy sector when the Abbott government dithered on setting its renewable energy target.