Importance of wind farms highlighted at meeting

Close to 100 people filled the Crowlands Hall last Thursday, including Federal Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan to discuss the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). Picture: PETER PICKERING

Close to 100 people filled the Crowlands Hall last Thursday, including Federal Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan to discuss the future of the Renewable Energy Target (RET). Picture: PETER PICKERING

A RECURRENT message delivered by the speakers at last Thursday's public meeting in Crowlands was that support for wind farms and renewable energy in general is widespread.

Challicum Hills land owner Graeme Maconachie lives 800 metres from a wind farm and said it isn't just community economies that benefit from the technology.

"People speak about the economic benefits, however, something I think we tend to lose sight of as a real benefit is actually how much renewable energy is produced by these wind towers," he said.

"It gives me a great feeling to walk out and look up at these towers and realise that the towers in the Challicum Hills wind farm are actually powering 25,000 houses in the district.

Mr Maconachie called on Federal Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan to emphasise to his colleagues in Canberra the importance of wind energy.

"The renewable energy targets must be kept, I think there must be more impetus put on this government to start thinking a lot more about our future than they seem to be at the moment," he said.

Ararat Rural City Council, Mayor Paul Hooper said he has had a lot of 'really frank' conversations with Mr Tehan about the issue.

"Ararat has been a fierce advocate of the wind industry for more than 10 years... We've been a staunch advocate for this industry since its inception," he said.

"It has hurt us probably politically to take the stand that we have taken, we're standing up now for economic reasons, it's about development, potential jobs for our kids.

"If it wasn't for the renewable energy industry creating the amount of energy they now create and putting that energy into the grid, you and I as energy users would be paying a lot more.

"The increases in power costs to the consumer haven't been in the wholesale or the energy component its been in the poles, wires and posts."

The Greens candidate for Ripon, Rod May said community enthusiasm about renewable energy continues to grow.

"The Greens support renewable energy and support all messages that we can take to boost the local economy through investment in this new energy source and at the same time address the issues of climate change," he said.

Committee for Portland Executive Officer, Anita Rank said the interest in wind farm projects comes from not just the immediate community, but far and wide.

"Any wind farm projects in the region, in Victoria and Australia are going to actually benefit Portland because we have engineering companies and transport companies, so it will directly supply jobs to our area and region," she said.

"The frustration is that there are projects that are shovel ready, that can generate a whole lot of jobs and really stimulate a community's economy, however, at the moment people and industry are just waiting idle."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop