NSW wind planning guidelines will choke regional economic growth
The New South Wales Government’s proposed wind farm guidelines threaten to stifle new wind developments in the state, the Australian Wind Alliance is warning.
Australian Wind Alliance co-ordinator Andrew Bray says the draft rules put unnecessary restrictions on what wind farms look like.
“For example, they talk about the visual impact of a wind farm eight kilometers away from a residence. That’s equivalent to more than 100 football fields away,” Mr Bray said.
He says regional communities across New South Wales will miss out on much-needed jobs and investment if the state government adopts the flawed guidelines.
“If introduced, the guidelines will reduce the number of turbines being built and even block entire developments from going ahead. Both of these outcomes lead to less money flowing to regional communities and fewer jobs. Wind farms pay millions of dollars a year to farmers as well as spending significant amounts on community projects like sports club upgrades.”
Mr Bray says wind developers are already threatening to take their business elsewhere.
“There’s a significant risk wind farm investment will leave NSW for other states like Victoria and South Australia which have more reasonable guidelines and stronger renewable energy targets.”
Renewable energy drives billions of dollars of investment in the NSW economy and supports more than 14,800 jobs. There is currently $11 billion worth of wind projects awaiting approval and development in the state.
A copy of the Australian Wind Alliance’s submission to the NSW Department of Planning and Environment’s
Wind Energy Planning Framework can be found at http://www.windalliance.org.au