A SATIRICAL press release purporting to be from Premier Ted Baillieu in Portland announcing $552 million compensation for victims of the government’s wind energy policy has not amused Spring Street.
Environment lobby group Friends of the Earth sent out the press release with Parliament’s logo saying Mr Baillieu launched the package for regional businesses, communities and former wind energy employees.
The “announcement” coincided with the first anniversary of the government’s planning law amendments that introduced a controversial two-kilometre radius buffer zone between turbines and houses.
“One year ago today my government made good on our election promise to stop the Victorian wind industry in its tracks,” the release said.
Later Mr Baillieu’s office issued a genuine media statement saying: “The Friends of the Earth are as misleading as their press release”.
Friends of the Earth had its own satirical reply to the satirical premier’s statement and welcomed the “adjustment package” saying it was long overdue.
The lobby group has been a strident critic of the planning changes, claiming they have stifled new investment in the wind energy sector.
Campaigns co-ordinator Cam Walker said the government should repeal the amendments and return to a science-based policy for determining how and where turbines could be located.
“Victoria now has the toughest wind energy planning guidelines in the world,” he said.
The satire follows Wednesday’s release of new Melbourne University research that said the planning laws were hindering new wind farms and other renewable energy projects.
Moyne Shire mayor Jim Doukas and the government said wind farm companies were continuing to look for new projects in Victoria.