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Community voices silenced by Labor

Friday, March 15, 2024

Locals neighbouring renewable energy projects will have their views sidelined under new planning powers announced by the Allan Labor Government.

Under changes announced today, any renewable energy project, no matter how small, will be declared a “significant economic development” and able to gain planning approval in as little as four months under the Government’s Development Facilitation Program (DFP).

Nationals Member for Ovens Valley, Tim McCurdy, said that he was disgusted with the blatant attempt from the Allan Labor Government to silence regional voices in favour of big renewable energy companies.

“Jacinta Allan has failed in her attempts to introduce renewable energy projects that communities want, so instead is silencing their voices and forcing these unwanted projects upon them.

“I am incredibly concerned that by removing the planning panel process as well as third-party appeals at VCAT, we will see more communities ignored by Labor in their push for renewables.

“The Government for Melbourne are once again silencing the regions in favour of their ideological city-based agenda.”

Mr McCurdy said he was gravely concerned that all the hard work of the communities in Meadow Creek and Dederang would be for naught under the changes.

“We have some incredibly fierce local advocates who are fighting for their communities right to have a say up in Dederang and in Meadow Creek.

“Over 300 turned up to a recent community meeting on to share their concerns and ask questions about the two Dederang BESS proposals which have seen a lack of consultation.

“Imagine having the gall, as Jacinta Allan has done, to turn around and say to these people, ‘we don’t care what you have to say, your opinion doesn’t matter.’

“I ask the Premier this; How would you feel if you had a massive fire hazard built in your backyard and you couldn’t do anything to stop it?

“The Premier preaches transparency yet delivers secrecy.”


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