Libs Nats flag ‘question mark’ over wind farm

GIPPSLAND South MLA Danny O’Brien has called on the state government not to make a decision on the proposed Alberton wind farm permit before the November 24 election.

With the Labor government scheduled to go into caretaker mode in a couple of weeks, Mr O’Brien said it shouldn’t hurriedly approve the proposal.

He was speaking after meeting with a large group of residents opposed to the project at Alberton West last week.

This is a project that, whatever people think of renewable energy, has already divided the local community,” Mr O’Brien said.

“I have had letters and emails both against the wind farm and in favour of it,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Last week I met with a group of local residents who made it clear to me their objections based on noise, visual impact, potential health impact and other planning grounds.”

Mr O’Brien said with energy policy a critical point of difference between Labor and the Liberal Nationals coalition, any decision on this should not be made before the election.

“The Liberals and Nationals have committed for some time to abolish Labor’s Victorian Renewable Energy Target,” he said.

“This target provides a subsidy that is encouraging developments such as this one, and if we are elected there would be a big question mark as to whether it would ever proceed.

“I am fully in favour of the Star of the South proposed offshore wind farm as were most of those at the meeting I held last week.

“People see the benefits of renewable energy, but there is strong opposition to this proposal which is in a relatively closely settled area and will have significant visual impact around the Yarram and Alberton district.

“Labor and the Greens have been in a headlong rush for over a decade now to develop wind farms, but they never acknowledge the impact on local residents which has been borne out by the finding confirming excessive noise in the homes of residents nearby the Bald Hills Wind Farm in south Gippsland.”

Mr O’Brien has met with a number of constituents in the past 12 months and acted on their behalf to advise the state government of their objections.

“Given the concern locally around this wind farm development, Labor should not be pushing it through prior November 24.”