Greetings Premier O’Farrell,
I am writing on behalf of the 300 + members of Climate Action Sydney Eastern Suburbs (CASES) to express our concern at the NSW Government’s apparent intention to increase restrictions on developing wind farms across NSW.
In the context of the current review by the Planning Assessment Commission and recent negative remarks about wind power and the Renewable Energy Target by you, I am concerned that additional obstacles will be placed in the path of wind power development in NSW, such as a 2km buffer zone, or similar mandatory setbacks which. would lock out many of the most suitable areas for wind farms.
Arbitrary setbacks bear little relation to the actual noise and visual impact of wind farms, which is variable depending on many factors such as local topography. Any such impacts are more appropriately and fairly regulated under existing planning criteria, which include some of the strictest wind farm noise regulations in the world. Numerous scientific studies undertaken over the last decade on the health impacts of wind farms in Europe, North America and Australia find no grounds for supporting the claims of the anti-wind power lobby.
Renewable energy, including concentrated solar thermal, geothermal, tidal, wave and wind generated electricity, offers NSW billions of dollars in investment opportunities over the next several years, along with thousands of new jobs. This is especially relevant now that BlueScope Steel is retrenching up to 800 employees as it plans to shut down its number six blast furnace at Port Kembla.
Wind power is the cleanest and cheapest renewable energy source currently available in Australia. With more than 10,000 MW of wind projects in NSW either approved or pending approval, any legislative changes which further restrict the expansion of the renewable energy industry in NSW means committing the State to further expansion of coal seam gas and coal mining, with all of the environmental costs and community opposition which they entail.
Polling consistently shows that the majority of people living in regional NSW support renewable energy – despite a high profile campaign by a small minority against wind farms. Please represent the majority view and support the benefits that wind farms bring to the State.
The energy security of NSW can only be attained through the development of a 100% renewable energy strategy and policy implementation in which wind will be a major contributor. Fossil fuels WILL run out, yes, not in our lifetime, but probably in our grand children’s. What legacy do you want to leave them? A sick and damaged world which cannot support humanity or a sustainable, healthy world with enough for everyone and a thriving biodiversity? I know what future CASES and many thousands of NSW concerned constituents are working towards. What future are you working towards?