Letters to the editor | September 8, 2017

CREATIVE: Rita Stewart was awarded most prizes in each category at the West Wimmera Group craft exhibition at Dimboola this week. Picture: DAINA OLIVER
CREATIVE: Rita Stewart was awarded most prizes in each category at the West Wimmera Group craft exhibition at Dimboola this week. Picture: DAINA OLIVER

More turbines required 

THE Andrews Government’s reckless drive to a renewable target of 40 per cent by 2025 will change the landscape of regional Victoria, particularly Western Victoria, forever. 

The once tranquil hinterlands and pastures of food production land will be churned into a seething mass of industrial machinery that will, as they are constructed, start to choke out the traditional use of the Western Plains into a concrete and steel mecca. 

Not content with having a sensible energy mix of coal, gas and renewables Dan Andrews has been pushed by ideological latte drinking metro living greenies to protect his Labor held seats.

He wants to pursue a State RET that will lock underground a plentiful supply of cheap, stable coal and gas. In its place, he will pollute the above ground landscape with concrete and steel wind turbines which will only provide intermittent power and only when the wind blows. 

The scale of the impact of this dangerous and reckless ideologically-driven policy needs examination. It pays no regard to a national approach and no thought to the cost of power for the consumer or the cost to the taxpayer of subsidies. 

Currently Victoria has 676 wind turbines operating mainly in Western Victoria producing about 1265 Megawatts (MW). There are currently 1023 approved wind turbines awaiting construction which are expect to produce 2659MW. Between the constructed and approved, there will be a total of 1699 turbines spread across regional Victoria. 

But that’s not even half of what will be required.

If you use the Australian Energy Market Regulator’s (AEMO) 2017 Victorian Government Planning Report figures, the government intends, and needs, to purchase 5400MW of renewable generation to reach its 2025 target. This will overcome the loss of the Hazelwood Power Station’s 1600MW and bring total wind generated power to 6889MW. A rough calculation would then suggest regional Victoria would need to host 3564 wind turbines, mostly in Western Victoria, to produce the power required to meet the RET. 

To put that in a landscape scale, Dan Andrews will populate western Victoria with five times more turbines than currently operating, with a cost of $3 billion to the Victorian taxpayer without any certainty it will provide reliable power generation, drop power prices or have any effect of reducing green house gas emissions.

That is a big price for Victoria to pay regardless of your philosophical view of ‘feel good green power’.

Simon Ramsay, Western Victoria MP

Palliative care funding

THE majority of Victorians want to live their final days at home surrounded by family, friends, and pleasant memories.

The Liberal-Nationals are committed to ensuring that wish is respected.

That’s why a Liberal-Nationals government would provide $140 million – the largest investment of its kind in Australia – to ensure terminally ill patients, and their families, can get the support they need as they approach the end of their lives.

Our commitment will ensure up to 8000 additional patients have access to palliative care. Our package will double specialist palliative care services to community palliative care clients, especially in rural and regional Victoria. It also includes a 50 per cent increase in funding for community palliative care provided in the home, including overnight care, in-home respite and carer support.

Research shows around 70 per cent of us would prefer to spend our final days at home.

But without a Liberal-Nationals government, barely a third of Victorians will get to realise that wish because there will continue to be inadequate funding for community-based palliative care.

Peter Walsh, leader, The National Party