27 November 2011
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu answered my question about wind farms in the Sunday Age today.
What exactly is the scientific evidence or public policy justification for making it harder to build a quiet, non-toxic wind turbine than a coal-fired power station, factory, train line or freeway?
IT IS wrong to claim that recent changes to planning controls in Victoria make it harder to build a wind farm than a coal-fired power station, factory, train line or freeway.
The changes guarantee certainty and fairness for people living in rural and regional Victoria in planning decisions about wind farms, giving communities a say about how close a wind farm can be located to houses.
These provisions are significantly less demanding than the level of regulation associated with the development of coal-fired power stations, factories, train lines and freeways. A coal-fired power station requires strict approval from the Environment Protection Authority and is subject to noise, emissions and setback distance (buffer) requirements. Similarly, factories are subject to noise, emissions and buffer requirements and require planning and environmental approvals. Freeways and train lines are subject to various noise standards and guidelines. The development of coal-fired power stations, factories, train lines and freeways are also subject to a number of other requirements. Wind farms are subject only to a planning permit process under the Planning and Environment Act 1987.