House of Reresentatives Hansard 20 October 2014
Mr FITZGIBBON (Hunter) (13:33): Right across rural Australia, wind farms for the generation of clean energy are bringing enormous benefits to rural communities—bringing investment, jobs, good environmental outcomes and, very importantly, off-farm income for some struggling farmers. They are also helping expand the contracting revenue bases of local government authorities. All this is being threatened by the Prime Minister's dogmatic attack on the renewable energy target which drives investment in this sector.
I was in Ararat last Friday and there I met with the mayors of the Ararat, Pyrenees and Northern Grampians shire councils. Unsurprisingly, this attack on the renewable energy target is of the greatest concern for the mayors and those who live in their local government areas. They are very concerned that the drying-up of investment in this sector will cost them thousands of jobs in their local regions, undermining council's revenue base and denying those farmers that precious on-farm income—some of which is already arriving and some which is hoped to arrive in the future.
I make an appeal to the member for Wannon—who represents that part of the world—to stand up to his Prime Minister and the cabinet and bring them into line, to ensure the people he represents in this place gain the full future benefit of the renewable energy target.