Dan Tehan encourages Wimmera wind farm developers to go ahead

Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke has a wind speed testing tower on his property.
Developer Res Australia was delaying construction of a wind farm at Murra Warra until the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Target review is finished. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke has a wind speed testing tower on his property. Developer Res Australia was delaying construction of a wind farm at Murra Warra until the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Target review is finished. Picture: PAUL CARRACHER

MEMBER for Wannon Dan Tehan has encouraged wind farm developers to continue as planned despite the Federal Government's Renewable Energy Target review.

"There is no reason at the moment why they can't be going ahead with their projects," he said. "I would encourage them to finalise their power purchasing agreements and get building, if that's what they want to do."

Horsham Rural City Council chief executive Peter Brown said wind farm developer Res Australia was delaying construction of a wind farm at Murra Warra until the review was finished.

"They are still proceeding with planning, but before they proceed with construction they need to know the outcome of the Renewable Energy Target review," he said. Mr Brown said planning included environmental studies, work on a business case and further testing.

"If the target is reduced, the feasibility of wind and solar energy might not be as great," he said.

Murra Warra farmer David Jochinke said landholders involved in the project were not aware of any changes to Res Australia's plans. Mr Tehan did not speculate on the potential outcome of the review.

"What I want to do is wait and see the options they come up with, and then all those things can be considered," he said.

"One of the things I have called for is for aluminium smelting to be exempt, because it is forecast to cost aluminium smelting in Australia about $80 million a year by 2017.

"We have already had one aluminium smelter close and another, Point Henry aluminium smelter, will close this year."

Portland Aluminium falls within his electorate.

Member for Mallee Andrew Broad told the Mail-Times he thought the Renewable Energy Target timeframe should be extended.

He suggested pushing out the large-scale Renewable Energy Target by 10 years, to 41,000 gigawatt-hours of electricity by 2030

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