Media Releases | 17th Sep, 2014

Environment Victoria urges Russell Northe to make Victoria “open for business” to renewable energy

17 September 2014

Environment Victoria says it welcomes comments from Victorian Energy Minister Russell Northe, who this morning rejected Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s position that wind farms are a blight on the landscape, but says that Minister Northe needs to demonstrate his support for renewable energy with action rather than words.

Environment Victoria’s Safe Climate Campaign Manager, Nicholas Aberle, said that Victoria has a lot to gain from policies that actively promote the development of wind farms and renewable energy.

“Any Government who delivers real support to renewable energy will bring thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of investment to regional Victoria, at a time when other industries are leaving those areas.”

“Increasing renewable energy and energy efficiency is the key to reducing our carbon pollution, and wind turbines provide farmers with a reliable, drought-proof income.”

“Unfortunately, current regulations don’t allow Victoria to reap any of these benefits. The Victorian Coalition’s wind turbine exclusion zone policy has seen the state’s wind farm industry grind to a halt.”

“It pleasing that Minister Northe does not share Joe Hockey’s antiquated views, but the sad fact is that when it comes to renewable energy, Victoria has not been open for business.”

“Since the introduction of the Coalition’s wind turbine planning regulations, applications for new wind farms have dropped almost to zero.”

“As the Energy Minister, Mr Northe only has two months before the state election to produce policies that will bring Victoria into the 21st Century.”

“We encourage Minister Northe to take this opportunity to help regional Victoria’s economy, to unleash private industry that will clean up our energy supply, and create thousands of skilled jobs across the state. Its time for actions not words.” said Dr Aberle.