Will the anti-wind fear campaign win out over common sense?

Media release 12 February 2012
Friends of the Earth

Will the anti-wind fear campaign win out over common sense?

As community consultations begin in regional NSW this week over the state government’s proposed wind energy guidelines, we can expect a wave of fear mongering and extravagant claims from anti-wind campaigners.

Friends of the Earth spokesman Cam Walker said “anti wind groups are mobilising in order to get maximum coverage in the media this week. As usual, the silent majority who do actually support wind energy are likely to be drowned out by this noisy group. The recent CSIRO report into attitudes towards wind farms concluded that a vocal minority who oppose wind farms are more prominent in the media and attract more political attention than the overwhelming majority who support wind energy.”

“Anti-wind campaigners will tell us that wind operations will destroy property values, spark bushfires, kill local animals and make everyone sick. The truth is that wind energy brings jobs, opportunity, and income to land owners, businesses and local Councils. In Victoria, once all existing and approved farms are built, they will generate annual income of $4.6 million for local Councils and $16 million for rural landholders. Added to this are the benefits of low carbon energy production.”

“The Waubra Foundation, a front group created by Landscape Guardian activists, and which has become the main organisation opposing wind energy on health issues, will probably be quoted widely. It is worth recalling that NSW Health, the state’s public health authority has been critical of the Foundation’s claims about turbines and ill-health. It’s assessment found the claims of the anti-wind energy group to be of the ‘lowest category of scientific evidence’, and having major methodological flaws.”

“The Waubra Foundation was set up by a long term anti wind campaigner with financial interests in oil, gas, uranium and, recently, coal”.

“Policy makers should be wary of fear-based campaigns run by vested interests”.

For further comment

Cam Walker 0419 338 047

Further information

Friends of the Earth response to the draft NSW guidelines: http://yes2renewables.org/2011/12/23/nsw-follows-victorias-backwards-mov...

Renewable energy myth-busting: http://yes2renewables.org/renewables-faq-and-mythbusting/

Who’s behind the anti-wind movement: http://yes2renewables.org/links-and-resources/who-is-opposing-renewables/

Details on the NSW Health documents on wind energy and health: http://yes2renewables.org/2012/01/24/time-to-stop-listening-to-front-gro...

Details on the community consultations: http://www.planning.nsw.gov.au/Development/Onexhibition/tabid/205/ctl/Vi...