Apr 6, 2006

Campbell holds parrot to the head of renewable energy industry

Campbell holds parrot to the head of renewable energy industry

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

6 April 2006

The Environment Minister’s decision to stop the Bald Hills wind farm in Victoria is economically and environmentally irresponsible.

To potentially protect one parrot per year, the Minister has stopped a $220 million project that would have reduced greenhouse emissions by 435 000 tonnes a year. This project had already gained the approval of the Victorian Government after a strict environmental assessment.

The Environment Minister says he’s concerned the wind farm may threaten the endangered orange-bellied parrot, but climate change may devastate our biodiversity.

This was an important infrastructure project for regional Victoria.

Instead of blocking clean energy projects, the Howard Government should seize the economic benefits of the worldwide push to cleaner energy.

Some of Australia’s leading businesses have today called for early action to avoid dangerous climate change, but the Environment Minister shows no sign of heeding that message.

The expansion of renewable energy is vital for avoiding dangerous climate change and also presents significant economic opportunities.

Just this week, the Tasmanian energy company Roaring 40s signed a $300 million deal for three wind farms in China. It is disappointing this didn’t get much attention from the media or the Government.

The $300 million deal should be the tip of the iceberg for Australian clean energy export potential. China alone has a 15% renewable energy target by 2020, coming off a low base.

It is a tragedy the Howard Government refuses to increase its pathetic 2% mandatory renewable energy target and blocks major wind farm proposals.

The business community says delaying action on climate change will harm the environment, cost business and cost the Australian economy. The Howard Government continues to ignore the need for strong action to avoid dangerous climate change.