Baillieu faced with falling polls and rising 'TWIMBYs' | RenewEconomy

Baillieu faced with falling polls and rising ‘TWIMBYs’

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Castlemaine community wind project galvanises Victorian wind proponents and gives rise to new term – Turbines Wanted in My Backyard.

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Ted Baillieu and his coalition partners swept into power in Victoria nearly two years ago, partly based on a campaign that promoted NIMBYism as a policy platform – at least as it concerned renewables, and particularly wind.

Curiously, many of the seats where that policy was pushed remained staunchly Labor, but once in power Baillieu enthusiastically thrust  into law the 2km set-back limit for wind turbines, and several controversial “no go” zones.

The wind farm proponents, however, will not lie down. In Castlemaine, a community project that hopes to erect at least three turbines to serve the local area was swamped with 60 applications from local landowners when it sought expressions of interest to site the installation. It’s given rise to a new term – Turbines Wanted in My Backyard” – or TWIMBY.

It’s not just in Victoria. In NSW, led by another wind-worrying premier Barry O’Farrell, a project in New England has attracted more than 100 applications from landowners to host a community-owned wind farm.

Jarra Hicks, the principal of Community Powe Agency, who has been working with the Mt Alexander Community Wind Project in Castlemaine, says there are around 30 community projects that she is aware of – some in wind, many in solar, and others in biogas.

“The key thing is that we’ve been invited to come and look at this sites,” Jarra says. “It builds the narrative and the reality of community support and involvement in renewable projects. There is a really strong will of people on the ground to make a significant difference, and invest in renewables in a big way that is not possible at a household level.”

And, if the Climate Change Authority’s recommendation that the status quo of the renewable energy target is maintained at the end of the year, that should finally push the green button for many of these projects to proceed.

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  1. Barry Mann 8 years ago

    I am involved with one of the 30 community wind projects mentioned above, however are unlucky enough to be located at Woodend, in Macedon Ranges Shire, where the entire shire has been effectively seen the banning of wind power. I cant believe that the intention of the Victorian Planning Provision VC82 (no-go zones, 2 km arbitrary set back wih individual VETO) was to ban a community supported project. This is supposed to be the party of choice, and yet they take this away by State decree. Dare I say its almost Stalinist in principle! Such is the policy’s anti-wind breadth that NO new applications for wind power projects have been made to the current State govt. Word has it that they are VERY comfortable with the policy, mainly becasue they dont think it will hurt them electorally (ie anyone interested in this kind of thing must be a commie or the great unwashed hippy types, rarities indeed these days). The concept of people getting behind and adopting renewable technologies is a mainstream idea everywhere else on the planet, and its now becoming mainstream here too, finally we here in Oz are as a whole getting it. And so if we want these kind of community projects to happen, we must get out there and say so to those who would stop us. And if they continue to stop us, we must vote them out. Thats democracy (as opposed to a State Decree)

    Barry Mann
    Woodend Integrated Sustainable Energy (WISE)

  2. David Clarke 8 years ago

    A number of surveys have shown that most Australians are in favour of wind power. It’s a pity that when a wind farm (other than a community-owned wind farm) is actually proposed, the NIMBYs are much more vocal than the TWIMBYs.

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