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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
19 August 2005
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, today congratulated Australia’s wind energy industry for recognising the need to protect birds when locating, developing and operating wind farms.
The Australian Wind Energy Association’s report outlines both a framework for investigating the proposed location of wind farms and also sets reporting standards for estimating and monitoring the impacts of wind farms on birds.
Senator Campbell said the report, Wind Farms and Birds Interim Standards for Risk Assessment, was prepared with $175,000 funding from the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Industry Development Programme, and involved consultation and scientific investigation into the impacts of wind farms in Australia and overseas.
“Australia’s energy strategy and security relies on a mix of energy technologies, including renewable energy. Wind is an important part of that renewable energy mix,” Senator Campbell said. “However, Australian communities are vitally interested in the effects of developments and their impact on the environment.
“Through recommended protocols and reporting standards, the report provides greater certainty that the impacts of wind farms on birds will be assessed and monitored.”
Senator Campbell said the report was targeted at companies that investigate, construct and operate wind farms, government agencies that assess and approve developments, and the communities in which the wind farms were situated.
Based on current best practice in environmental risk management in Australia, he said the voluntary standards would enable wind farm projects to collect and report data as well as encourage the industry to share information.
The Renewable Energy Industry Development programme provides funding to support the development of the Australian renewable energy industry, for example, through industry standards and training. Since 2000, it has provided funding to around 50 projects to support implementation of the Australian Renewable Energy Action Agenda.
The report was released at the Australian Wind Energy Association’s annual conference and exhibition, 16 –19 August, in Sydney.
The Renewable Energy Industry Development Programme is administered by the Australian Greenhouse Office, Department of the Environment and Heritage. For more information visit www.auswea.com.au
Renae Stoikos 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434