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Industry welcomes changed Wind Farm Laws

20 March, 2015

"Ai Group welcomes the Victorian Government’s reforms to wind farm planning laws, which are a sensible balance and will be a positive for industry and energy users," Australian Industry Group Victorian State Director Tim Piper said today.

"Previous restrictions on wind farm locations, while motivated by the genuine concerns of some in the community, went too far.

"The unintended consequences were to hold up badly-needed investment in major Victorian projects, and to increase the cost of meeting the national Renewable Energy Target (RET).

"Reducing the household veto zone from two kilometres to one is a substantial improvement and will make it much more practical for wind developers to negotiate projects with those most directly involved in proposed locations.

"Once the current federal impasse over the RET is resolved, there is likely to be a surge in investment to meet the 2020 target. These changes should become effective as soon as practical to ensure that Victoria can reap its share of the benefits.

"Ai Group has long argued that excessive restrictions on wind farms, well beyond any evidence of harm, raised costs and set a bad precedent. With wind policy on the mend, the next step is to reach a sensible regulatory approach to onshore production of natural gas. The upcoming Parliamentary Inquiry in Victoria into this issue should be an opportunity to identify firm and workable regulatory solutions to any genuine risks, and move on from the current total moratorium," Piper said.

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