The Australian Clean Energy Council (CEC) has said that the latest inquiry into wind power by the Senate has found nothing new while pushing recommendations that destroy the future of renewable energy in the country.
CEC Chief Executive Kane Thornton said that the report of the committee was circulated to journalists before it had been seen by the industry or the Australia Parliament, demonstrating that the entire exercise was a biased political stitch-up by a small group of senators opposed to the cheapest forms of renewable energy.
“Adopting these reckless recommendations would damage Australia’s international investment reputation, right when we are finalising major agreements with some of our biggest trading partners” said Mr Thornton. “Business needs stability and confidence to invest, and this has only recently been restored to the renewable energy sector after 18 months of uncertainty. Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of projects have been announced since a deal on the Renewable Energy Target was legislated, and these will create hundreds of jobs and major investment in regional and rural areas of the country.”
Mr Thornton added that the adoption of the headline recommendation of the report would be economically reckless, showing that some of the senators are out of touch with the business community and the Australian people, who overwhelmingly support renewable energy. Thornton described the leak of the report as a clear breach of proper parliamentary process which has been used to prosecute a personal crusade by a small number of senators.
The Senate inquiry has been led by crossbenchers David Leyonhjelm, John Madigan and Bob Day, all of whom are anti-wind. Earlier this year, David Leyonhjelm called for a government regulator to monitor wind farm noise claiming that he has uncovered ‘credible evidence’ that wind turbines result in noise disturbance to nearby residents. Health experts and environmentalists have continually discredited such claims as a myth.
Mr Leyonhjelm is also an advocate of the return to Australia of the coal industry, as is Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.