DRAFT WIND GUIDELINES RULE OUT NEW PROJECTS IN NEW ENGLAND REZ

DRAFT WIND GUIDELINES RULE OUT NEW PROJECTS IN NEW ENGLAND REZ

Wednesday, 15 November 2023

NORTHERN Tablelands MP Adam Marshall has today called on the State Government to urgently explain and clarify why its new draft wind energy guideline effectively rule out any projects within the New England Renewable Energy Zone, despite hundreds of millions of dollars being set aside to construct new electricity transmission infrastructure.

“It’s very clear the left hand of government does not know what the right hand is doing,” Mr Marshall said.

“We now effectively have two government departments saying two completely contradictory things about the future of our region – it’s not only embarrassingly amateurish, but also very concerning for our community.”

Mr Marshall said the State Government’s new draft wind energy guideline, released by the Planning Department yesterday, includes a map which declares almost the entirety of the New England REZ “less suitable” for wind projects.

“The Planning Department declares us ‘less suitable’ for wind projects while at the same time the government’s Energy Corporation is working to expend hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars constructing new high voltage transmission lines across our region for new projects to connect to,” he said.

“Who is correct; the planning department or Energy Co, because they cannot both be right. Will there be no new wind projects approved in our region, or has the planning department got it all wrong and doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in the government?

“This massive contradiction leaves our communities even more confused about what the future looks like.

“I’m calling on the government to gets its own house in order and urgently clarify who is right and who is wrong and what our region can expect now and in the future.

“Threading the needle to ensure a smooth energy transition, developing new renewables in harmony with our local communities, is difficult enough without this sort of carry on which shatters any confidence we had in the key government agencies.

“Either we have renewable energy zones where these projects are supposed to go or we have a planning system that is now attempting to rule them all out – we cannot have both and this government needs to work out what it’s doing and fast.

“Our community is entitled to know the truth and have certainty so we can plan our destiny too.”

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