IN an unusual move, Monaro MP John Barilaro has publicly called on his own government to cease consideration of wind farm developments across the state. This must be done, he says, until the federal government has developed a response to their review of the renewable energy scheme.
However, his remarks do not apply to the Boco Rock wind farm in Nimmitabel, in his electorate, given the development has already been approved.
"Until the federal government has developed a response to their review of the Renewable Energy Scheme (RET), it would be irresponsible, a waste of time and resources for the NSW government to be accessing wind farm developments that may not be feasible," he told the Express.
"I have asked the NSW planning minister to consider proposing a moratorium on all wind farm developments until the federal government has announced a response to this review," Mr Barilaro said.
"As a principle I am opposed to new wind farm developments. Federal government subsidies make the financial viability of these proposals artificially inflated and I am strongly opposed to taxpayer funds being used to unnaturally prop up projects that lack community support and have questionable environmental benefits."
He noted that the new federal government had hinted at a potential decrease in subsidies for new renewable energy investments as a result of this review. It would therefore be wise to place on hold all pending wind farm applications.
A proposal for Jupiter Wind Farm, south of Tarago, is in the early stage of the NSW government's State Significant Investment assessment process.
"The level of uncertainty surrounding the Jupiter Wind Farm is causing deep concern to my community," Mr Barilaro said.
"I am calling on the minister to inject some certainty into this situation, by freezing consideration on wind farm developments until the future of the sector is made apparent."
Cooma-Monaro deputy mayor Bronnie Taylor, who lives at Nimmitabel where the Boco Farm wind farm is being located, weighed into the wind farm debate, calling into question the economic viability of wind farms.
She also questioned their effects on human health, despite a recent report to the contrary.