|What is wrong with this picture of beautiful Stirling Castle in Scotland?|
Smarter than our UK cousins the Victorian Government has announced planning laws for wind farms to allow householders to stop construction within 2 Km of their homes and also has acted to protect environmentally important areas from the degradation caused by ugly wind towers and associated road and power lines. The irony of a Conservative government acting to protect the environment from green-inspired eco-vandalism should not be lost on voters. The wind carpetbaggers are threatening to take their bat and ball and go and play elsewhere which is the best possible result for Victorians.
In a victory for wind farm opponents, the government will amend planning laws to give households power to veto wind turbines within two kilometres of their homes.
Turbines will also be banned in the Macedon and McHarg ranges, in the Yarra Valley, on the Mornington and Bellarine peninsulas, and within five kilometres of the Great Ocean Road and the Bass Coast.
And in changes that go further than the Coalition flagged in the policy it took to last year's state election, turbines will also be prohibited within five kilometres of 21 Victorian regional centres.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy said the changes restored "certainty and fairness" to local communities while leaving the vast majority of the state open to wind farm development. "It is important that while wind energy develops, it does not do so [to] the detriment of rural and regional Victorians," he said.
But opponents of the change said Mr Guy's claim that most of the state would stay open to wind farm development was valid only if all rural households agreed to farms being built in "no-go zones" around their homes. If they opposed, most of the state was blacked out.
The Clean Energy Council said the change would cost hundreds of new jobs in regional areas and billions of dollars in investment.
An analysis for the council by consultants Carbon Market Economics before last year's election estimated that between 50 and 70 per cent of proposed wind farms, worth up to $3.6 billion, would not be developed under Coalition policy.