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Media Release
Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

12 August 2006

Victorian Labor's hypocrisy over wind farm

The hypocrisy of the Bracks Labor Government has been exposed with reports today that the Victorian Labor Government has choked off the approvals process for a proposed wind farm next door to Bald Hills in Gippsland.

Planning Minister Rob Hulls has admitted today that he has been sitting on a planning report for the Dollar wind farm just 30 km from the Bald Hills site.

"The Victorian Government, aided and abetted by Federal Labor, has the temerity to question my decision on Bald Hills, while at the same time Mr Hulls has been delaying his decision on a similar wind farm just down the road," said Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell.

The Australian newspaper reports that the Dollar wind farm proposal has been awaiting Mr Hull's approval for 450 days.

It confirmed that the 48-turbine Dollar wind farm was submitted for approval in June 2003 and the state government planning panel report has been sitting on Mr Hulls' desk since May last year.

"The default position for the Bracks Government is duplicity and spin-doctoring on an unprecedented level," Senator Campbell said.

Today's report follows revelations by The Age newspaper a week ago that Mr Hulls kept secret a report by his own Department of Sustainability and Environment for 450 days, which said:

"The Bald Hills wind farm proposal will increase the level of threat to the Orange-bellied Parrot."

(The Age, 29 July 2006)

The report recommended a 'conservative approach' was required to acknowledge the proposed development would increase the cumulative risk to the species posed by the wind farm industry.

"What is Mr Hulls hiding and how many other documents is he keeping secret?

"Could it be that Mr Hulls has another secret report on this wind farm that he doesn't want Victorians to know about?

"Could it be that Mr Hulls realises that he will be revealed for a charlatan if he approves this wind farm when it will kill three wedge tail eagles a year - the same number which he used to veto the Yaloak wind farm twelve months ago?

The Dollar wind farm is currently being assessed under federal environment law, however the Victorian Government assessment process must be completed before any approval decision can be made by the Commonwealth.

Media contact:
Tamatha Smith on 0417 177 397

Commonwealth of Australia