New South Wales restores the right of communities to appeal wind farms

New South Wales restores the right of communities to appeal wind farms

wind farms

In a bad move made by the O’Farrell government on Wednesday, communities now have the right to appeal wind farms which are OK’ed by the independent Planning Assessment Commission. By removing the ‘critical infrastructure’ status that was originally given to wind farms by the Labor government, the industry’s growth in NSW will come to a halt as communities fight against these installations.
Brad Hazzard, Planning and Infrastructure Minister, said “We changed Labor’s rotten laws in 2011 ensuring major projects like wind farms would be considered in an open and transparent process… The community can have confidence that their voices will be heard on wind farm projects in NSW and that projects will be assessed and decisions made at arm’s length from the government.”
Unfortunately, anti-wind propaganda is rampant in communities where wind farms are proposed, and most of the information is completely inaccurate and fear mongering. Many health studies have proven that wind turbines do not cause any ill effects to human health. However, the tactics used by anti-wind lobbyists scare locals into pushing against development in their region, which slows the industry growth.
Allowing communities to fight against the greater good of installing wind farms holds the future of renewable energy back from making progress. As a senior manager at a wind farm operator so eloquently responded to this change in law, these new regulations will create a “lawyers’ picnic”, and signals to wind farm developers that NSW is ‘‘closed for business”.
John Kaye, Greens MP, said the the O’Farrell government had shown “a complete commitment to making it as hard as possible for wind farms” and “This is a government that treats wind farms with far lower community impact and no known health impacts in a totally hostile way while providing red-carpet treatment for coal seam gas.”
Leigh Ewbank, a spokesman from Friends of the Earth said “The NSW government has sown the seeds of community division by reopening the planning process for these wind farms… A noisy minority refuse to accept wind energy and continues to make unsubstantiated claims that the technology has health impacts. This decision looks like a capitulation to those elements.”
As Leigh said, it’s unfortunate that laws like this one, hinder renewable energy progress, due to unfounded concerns by a minority.

Posted By Sally on March 20, 2014 | 0 Comment

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