Jul 25, 2006

Campbell should release advice on threat to orange bellied parrot

Campbell should release advice on threat to orange bellied parrot

MEDIA RELEASE – ANTHONY ALBANESE MP

25 July 2006

If Minister Ian Campbell’s really blocked the Bald Hills wind farm for environmental reasons, I have no doubt he would release his reasons and the Departmental advice he based his decision on.

Ian Campbell’s decision to stop the Bald Hills wind farm project because one orange bellied parrot was threatened every 1000 years was all about politics and not about parrots.

If Ian Campbell has nothing to hide he should release the Departmental advice to the Victorian Government under FOI.

After blocking the Bald Hills wind farm, Ian Campbell then tried to block a wind farm in Denmark, Western Australia – but the Minister has no legal power to stop it.

Ian Campbell’s attempts to block wind farms are all about politics and not about the environment.

The Bald Hills wind farm project 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.

Last year Ian Campbell approved the development of the pristine False Cape peninsula near Cairns, even though it is nestled between two world heritage areas and contains threatened species, including the iconic Cassowary.

The Howard Government is setting dangerous precedents for arbitrary, political interference in infrastructure development.

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

Clean renewable energy offers Australia a real opportunity to expand employment in manufacturing industry, particularly in regional Australia.