The NSW government has capitulated to anti-wind farm fringe groups by re-opening the development application process for previously approved wind farm projects, according to environment activist organisation Friends of the Earth.
NSW Planning and Infrastructure Minister Brad Hazzard has directed that nine wind farm projects now be considered as State Significant Developments instead of being dealt with under the Part 3A transitional provisions that are a legacy from Labor’s time in office. This decision effectively places them back in the planning system.
‘The NSW government has sown the seeds of community division by reopening the planning process for these wind farms,’ said Friends of the Earth renewables spokesperson Leigh Ewbank.
‘A noisy minority refuses to accept wind energy and continues to make unsubstantiated claims that the technology has health impacts.
‘This decision looks like a capitulation to those elements.
‘It seems that NSW has joined the Victorian government in privileging a minority of vocal anti-wind campaigners over the majority of the community, who continue to support renewable energy.
‘Wind energy is the cheapest form of new power generation.
‘It creates jobs and provides drought-proof income to land owners while helping us address climate change.
‘Yet again the NSW government has shown it is willing to favour the interests of the coal and gas lobbies over the legitimate concerns of the community.’