Photos from the anti-wind farm rally, (left), and pro-wind farm rally (supplied by Grant Newson)

June 21, 2013

Greens candidate for Maranoa Grant Newson has hit back at claims made this week by local MP Bruce Scott, saying the only thing that is fraudulent in relation to wind farms were the “claims made by the anti-wind lobby”.

“It is unfortunate that Mr Scott has once again allowed himself to be deceived by just a couple of people on this renewable energy source,” Mr Newson said.

“These people can’t even tell the truth about the numbers that attended the rally in Canberra.

“The majority of reports had the anti-wind rally around the 100 mark, which included the press contingent, and the pro-wind rally over 1000.

“Even Mr Allan Jones was obviously disappointed with the turnout, showing that the truth about any impacts and community support for renewable energy far outweighs even a heavyweight radio chatterbox and fallacies being spread around.

“It is glaringly obvious that the LNP just don’t want any form of renewable energy allowed within Australia because Gina (Rinehart) may lose a few dollars.

“Unlike the CSG industry that has every impact possible including health and noise, which Mr Scott seems to ignore, wind farms have absolutely no scientific evidence of any impact over many, many decades.

“Claims from Mr Scott that wind farms are ‘dividing communities in his electorate’ and are a ‘feel-good option that doesn’t deliver’ shows even he is clutching at straws.

“If Mr Scott thinks that companies like AGL would spend billions of dollars on a project because it makes them feel good, he had better comfort their shareholders.

“If any division in communities is being caused, it is by only by ill-informed people continually trying to fill people’s heads with garbage.”

* * *

The Clean Energy Council has also hit out at what it has labelled as scaremongering by the anti-wind farm lobby about electricity prices.

Clean Energy Council Policy Director Russell Marsh said the rise in electricity prices was set to slow to 3 per cent per year, according to official energy market forecasts.

“We’ve seen some ridiculous claims (at the Canberra rally) from wind energy opponents who have said electricity prices are going to double, or even triple, over the next few years because of wind energy,” Mr Marsh said.

“This is just not the case. It was made even more ridiculous by the announcement that electricity prices in NSW would rise by just 1.7 per cent over the next financial year.

“According to the AEMC, the major cause of the price rises we’ve seen in recent years is the network component of bills, which has nothing to do with either wind energy or Australia’s 20 per cent Renewable Energy Target.

“The anti-wind claims – some of which have come from anonymous sources – are untrue, misleading and specifically designed to scare people. People in Australian regional communities deserve better than these kinds of tactics.”

Mr Marsh said that wind energy projects inject new spending and investment in regional areas and, for farmers with wind turbines on their property, they can be the difference between staying on the land and having to sell up.

“Wind farms create jobs in regional areas, bring in construction workers who spend money in local businesses, pay host farmers hundreds of thousands of dollars per year, and make significant contributions to community-based projects,” Mr Marsh said.

“On top of that, wind power is having a big impact on our greenhouse gas emissions.

“In South Australia, where around one quarter of the state’s electricity comes from wind farms, emissions have fallen by more than 27 per cent over the past five years. And the cost of wind power in the State is less than 2 per cent of bills.

“There will always be some people who oppose any type of new infrastructure development, be it a new road, power line or dam. The important thing is to make sure that all people affected by new projects have access to factual information so they can make up their own minds.”

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2 Responses to "MP ‘Deceived By Anti-Wind Lobby’"

  1. Mr Newson, you are the one that is deceived. We know what we are talking about. The Greens have gone very BLACK, if you support these useless industrial wind turbines. Go and talk to the people who are suffering because of these useless things. The amount of money that the Federal Government is pumping into these useless things is over the top. Wind turbines cost three times as much to run as coal & they will not make any difference to the sea level, not one inch.

  2. This is from a country with plenty of wind farms. Note the part about supplement on electricity bills to pay for the subsidy. Some factual information. On June 13, the Sunday Telegraph (London) reveals how many ”green jobs’’ the wind-power industry really generates in exchange for its generous subsidies:

    The figures show that for 12 months until February 2013, a little over £1.2  billion was paid out to wind farms through a consumer subsidy financed by a supplement on electricity bills. During that period, the industry employed just 12,000 people, which means that each wind-farm job cost consumers £100,000 – an astonishing figure.

    Of course, we all want to preserve the environment and, in an ideal world, we would invest in energy production that is as clean as possible. But before pouring money into any potential power source we need to discuss honestly its costs, its potential to create jobs and its efficiency. Our story shows that the claims of the green lobby that wind farms will generate abundant energy and economic growth are not consistent with the facts.

    Regarding costs, the £1.2  billion figure is merely a starting point. According to the Renewable Energy Foundation, the subsidy is likely to rise to £6  billion by 2020 if the Government is to meet its target of providing for 15 per cent of the country’s needs with renewable energy.

    Finding space to build the wind farms has created a veritable racket – landowners can expect to receive payments worth an average £40,000 a year for each large, three-megawatt turbine built on their land.

    And what is the benefit of all this expense? In terms of jobs, disappointingly little. Greater Gabbard, an offshore wind farm, employs 100 people at its headquarters in Lowestoft, Suffolk.

    Divide Greater Gabbard’s subsidy of £129  million by 100, and each job is worth an incredible £1.29 million. The spend might be more justifiable if wind were an efficient and abundant energy source – but it simply is not. Its output fluctuates wildly depending on the amount of wind available. This week, our thousands of wind turbines managed to generate an impressive 12 per cent of our total energy production. But during our last cold, windless winter – when electricity demand was at its greatest – that fell to lows of 0.1 per cent.

    Wind farms can end up being surprisingly environmentally unfriendly, too. When the wind does not blow and the turbines fail to do their job, consumers have to fall back on the very fossil fuels that they were designed to replace. The result is that we come to rely on foreign imports of oil and gas that hit the household budget hard (domestic coal stations that ought to supply more of the demand have been closed in order to meet carbon-emission reduction targets).

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