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Protests in Victoria against siting turbines at coastal locations

Around 500 people flocked to the steps of the Victorian parliament in Melbourne recently to protest against the siting of wind farms in sensitive coastal locations around the state. Led by South Gippsland shire mayor, David Lewis, and Victorian National Party leader, Peter Ryan, the protestors came from the coastal communities of Portland, Yambuk, and Warrnambool as well as townships along the Great Ocean Road where several wind farms are in the planning stages. They called on the state government and developers to locate wind farms away from significant coastal areas, consult with communities affected by such developments and review the current wind energy planning guidelines. Government should "stop the madness of wind farm developments along sensitive sections of Victoria's coast," said Ryan. Members of the Australian Wind Energy Association attended the rally armed with fact sheets. "We are concerned that some of the information being provided to the community is incorrect and misleading," says the association's Karl Mallon. Greenpeace's Catherine Fitzpatrick adds: "Governments and industry need to allay any genuine concern the public may have. We are not at a point where we want to shut down the wind industry. In the medium to long term the only solution to climate change is going to be a massive upscaling of renewable energy."

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