Baillieu’s Anti-Wind Farm Laws Threaten Port Fairy Jobs

Brian Tee | 

Two approved wind farms in Victoria’s south-west are among a number under threat because of the Baillieu Government’s new anti-wind farm laws, the Shadow Minister for Planning, Brian Tee, said today.

Mr Tee said the new laws may force the wind farm developer to abandon the Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner wind farm projects in Port Fairy, resulting in a loss of investment and jobs for Port Fairy and income for local farmers in lost rent.

Mr Tee said the Port Fairy projects were among 28 approved wind farm projects across Victoria worth $5 billion and generating $21 million in rental income for farmers that were now at risk.

“Not only has Mr Baillieu’s anti-wind laws killed off any future wind farm projects ­­– we now learn the laws also jeopardise approved projects,” Mr Tee said.

“Buried in the anti-wind farm laws announced last month is a new condition for approved projects.

“Planning Minister Matthew Guy has given all approved projects an arbitrary deadline of March next year. Projects with expired permits or requiring amendments to permits are scrambling to meet this deadline.

“If they don’t meet the March deadline they will have to resubmit the project for planning approval under the new anti-wind farm laws which would mean many of the projects would not go ahead.

“It’s a deliberately provocative act that will force wind farm companies across Victoria to abandon projects.”

Mr Tee said the Hawkesdale and Ryan Corner wind farms planned for Port Fairy could be the first victims of the new anti-wind farm laws.

“The company sought an application to extend permits for the projects but was knocked back by the local council,” Mr Tee said.

Mr Tee said Mr Guy had some serious questions to answer.

“Were Mr Guy’s anti-wind farm laws designed to retrospectively kill off investment projects approved by Labor?” he said.

“And if so, what precedent does this set, and what message does this send to overseas investors wishing to make investments in Victoria more generally?”

Mr Tee said Mr Baillieu’s anti-wind farm laws had gone too far.

“We know Mr Guy’s laws were drafted to shut down future wind farms in Victoria,” Mr Tee said.

“And now we find out his laws threaten existing projects.”

Mr Tee said wind farms were important to reduce Victoria’s dependence on dirty coal as well as create jobs and stimulate the economy in regional communities.

“State Labor is seeking to revoke the Baillieu Government’s anti-windfarm laws,” Mr Tee said.

“The Baillieu Government must rethink these new laws that will destroy the industry, kill off jobs and hurt local regional communities.”

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