Blame game ‘not really smart Katrina’

Alby Schultz MP, the Federal Member for Hume has called on the NSW Coalition Government, particularly its rural-based ministers to dispense with the rhetoric and actually do something about a moratorium on all Wind turbine development pending an independent Commission of Inquiry into the Wind turbine industry.

“This week in the NSW Parliament a Coalition Minister finally made a statement in the Legislative Assembly about what was described in that speech as industrial wind-operated power stations constructed and yet to be constructed within local shire councils in the Southern Tablelands,” Mr Schulz said.

“Unfortunately there was an attempt to side-step that Ministers’ lack of commitment to this serious matter by deflecting blame for inaction onto the NSW Government which that Minister plays a not-too insignificant role in.

“On the 24th February of this year an email from that Minister as a then Shadow Minister was sent to a number of her Coalition colleagues in the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council headed ‘Draft Windfarm Policy’,” Mr Schultz revealed.

“Attached to that email was a document entitled “Liberal and National Party Draft Wind Farm Policy 2011”.

“That document on Page 1 made a number of commitments such as:

‘If we are elected in March, we will immediately initiate a wide-ranging Commission of Inquiry into the development of industrial wind farms in NSW.

‘This will help achieve better practical outcomes for regional communities and a new regulatory framework to ensure Wind farms properly address noise, health risks, aviation fire, property value and other impacts,’ Paragraph 6.

“On page 2, paragraph 1 it continues:

‘We will also restore legal and property rights for landholders confronted by Wind Farm developments – rights that had been taken away by the Labor NSW Government by misuse of Part 3A of the Planning Act.’

“The document page after page waxes lyrical about what the Liberal/National party would do if elected and the document comprehensively covers all of the issues being raised by concerned rural communities including mismanagement, secrecy, health, community impacts and so on,” Mr Schultz added.

“The question needs to be asked: why was this document buried immediately after the March 2011 Election and why rural based State Ministers since then have been so quiet on this issue until the message finally filtered through that people tolerance and frustrations had come to an end.

“Blaming ‘the Government’ for ones’ own shortcomings is not really smart Katrina; you and your Leader (Nationals Leader Andrew Stoner), who has a senior role in the inner Cabinet of the O’Farrell Government should be demanding a total moratorium on all Wind turbines planned for construction, proposed to be constructed and a full, transparent Commission of Inquiry immediately,” Mr Schultz said.

“Mice, bats and sharks might be important – but they are not as important as the rights of rural people,” Mr Schultz concluded.