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Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
6 October 2004
The Minister for the Environment, Senator Ian Campbell, said today the future of the Bald Hills wind farm project in South Gippsland remained in the balance pending formal assessment of its environmental effects.
"This would be one of my first decisions as minister should the Howard Government be re-elected at the weekend," he said.
"I have not seen any formal report yet, but I have to say it will need to address a number of concerns I have about the project since visiting the area recently.
"The issue of turbines being in the path of migratory birds and the risks of rotor blades to other species such as raptors worries me.
'The concerns about this particular issue seem to be well founded and will need to be thoroughly dealt with in the assessment process.
'Environmental and conservation values are integral to the local landscape and must be not be jeopardised."
Senator Campbell said he was required to determine whether the project complied with the requirements of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act.
"The fact that the Bracks Government has ridden rough-shod over the local community's clear objections to this project does not instil me with confidence either that everything is in order.
"The Howard Government supports the establishment of wind farms as part of its policy to develop renewable energy sources, but in a way that balances that need and the concerns of local people and their environment.
"There is no escaping the fact that under federal Labor's energy policy, Mark Latham will erect more wind turbines on the landscape than would the coalition."