Wednesday, 8 February 2012
I support the remarks of Senator Madigan. I make it clear that I think wind farms are an important part of the renewable energy mix. But there are genuine community concerns, as witnessed by the Senate inquiry into this. There were seven unanimous recommendations which seem to be reasonable and measured. They take a precautionary approach to the concerns of communities about wind farms and to addressing these concerns by ensuring that the health effects and other matters are dealt with. I think they are quite reasonable recommendations. I think it makes sense that, if you think that the government should act on these recommendations— such as the recommendation that the NHMRC be involved in monitoring the health effects—then it is not unreasonable that there be a moratorium until the recommendations are acted on. The moratorium would not necessarily have to last very long, but it would be an incentive to ensure that the recommendations are acted upon and community concerns comprehensively dealt with once and for all. That is why I think it is important, given the context of the inquiry, for the moratorium to be supported as well as the recommendations.