The battle to decouple the name of a small Victorian town from that of a prominent Australian anti-wind group has hit a snag, with the so-called Waubra Foundation ignoring a plea from members of the eponymous community to stop using their town’s name in their fight against rural wind farms. Three hundred residents of Waubra – a town 40km northwest of Ballarat that is home to a 128-turbine wind farm – signed a petition asking the Waubra Foundation to change its name, arguing that it is dragging the township’s name through the mud by associating it with anti-wind propaganda.
The Waubra Foundation board has voted unanimously to reject the request, arguing on its website that it has “brought the name of a small Victorian town to the attention of many people around Australia and, incidentally, to many other Western nations.” But that seems to be the problem. “We’ve been clear that they can carry on their campaigning against wind farms if they want but out of respect for the people who live here, leave our name out of it,” said Karen Molloy, local resident and member of the Waubra Community Hub committee. Waubra farmer Doug Hobson says most of the community is, in fact, very happy with the wind farm, which he says has made the future of the town more secure and brought in a new group of workers. “We’re very disappointed that the directors are so single-minded in their dislike of wind farms that they don’t realise this,” said Molloy.
Business sizes up carbon tax repeal
A new survey has found that the majority of Australia’s small to medium-sized businesses expect ‘no significant impact’ from the repeal of the carbon tax, despite federal government claims that scrapping it will ‘lower costs, boost growth and increase jobs’. The Executive Connection’s (TEC’s) quarterly Confidence Index Survey found that 52 per cent of business owners did not expect the repeal of the tax to have significant impact on their business; 28 per cent expected ‘significant impact’ and 5 percent expected the effect to be ‘very significant’.
“This survey shows that the repeal of the Carbon Tax will not dramatically change the outlook for small to medium sized businesses,” Nikki Potter, CEO of The Executive Connection said. “The administrative costs and other additional complications associated with scrapping the tax mean that most of our members do not expect to see a significant cost saving in 2014,” she said. “However, medium sized businesses are more likely to expect a very significant impact from the Carbon Tax repeal (17 percent). “Members in Queensland and South Australia predicted little affect from the tax repeal, with over 60 percent forecasting little change, compared to Victoria where 40 percent are hoping to see a significant impact.”