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

29 July 2006

Secret Bracks Govt report reveals hypocrisy on Bald Hills

A report kept secret by the Bracks Government has highlighted the blatant hypocrisy of its criticism of my decision not to approve the Bald Hills wind farm.

Media reports today revealed the Victorian Government's own department warned in a submission on the Bald Hills wind farm about threats posed to the Orange-bellied Parrot.

The Victorian Government was warned three years ago it was “highly likely” the parrot would fly through Bald Hills, at the same height as the rotor blades.

A report from the Victorian Government’s Department of Sustainability and Environment 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 is therefore required which acknowledges that this proposed development will increase the cumulative risk to the species posed by the wind farm industry”.

(The Age, 29 July 2006)

This report lifts the lid on the hypocrisy of the Bracks Labor Government in its attempt to hoodwink the public into believing this wind farm would not pose a threat to the Orange-bellied Parrot.

An independent report commissioned by my Department concluded that, while the impact of wind turbine collisions on the Orange-bellied Parrot may be small, almost any negative impact on the species could be sufficient to tip the balance against its continued existence.

The Bracks Government knew that there was a serious threat to the endangered Orange-bellied parrot from the Bald Hills proposal but it has intentionally said nothing about its own report's findings in pursuit of a shabby political agenda.

The Victorian State Labor Government should be condemned for deliberately misleading the Australian people.

The question for State Environment Minister John Thwaites now is who was behind this cover up?

This is absolute hypocrisy from a Minister who has the audacity to criticise my decision on the Bald Hills wind farm because of a threat to the Orange-bellied Parrot, when he only recently stopped a wind farm just down the road because of a threat to the Wedge-tailed Eagle.

Media contacts:
Rob Broadfield 02 6277 7640 or 0409 493 902

Commonwealth of Australia