South Australian Liberal wind farm policy

This page was written in 2015 when the SA Liberals were in opposition. I've added some notes in January 2019, after the SA Liberals came to power under Premier Steven Marshall following the election of 2018/03/17.

Will the SA Liberals stick with the same anti-renewable energy policies that are so unpopular with the Australian people that they helped get the Victorian Liberals thrown out after only one term?

The Victorian Government of Baillieu and Napthine had the most draconian wind power laws of any government in the world. It was a policy of giving the right of veto to any householder within two kilometres of a proposed wind turbine, not allowing any wind farm to be within five kilometres of a town and disallowing wind farms in large parts of the state. It was much easier to get approval to dig a coal mine, build a coal-fired power station or frack under a valuable aquifer than to build a wind farm.

This policy effectively put a stop to the multi-billion dollar wind power industry in Victoria, took much needed income away from many farmers, and no doubt helped to get the government thrown out on November 29th 2014 after only one term. (It was the first one-term government in Victoria in sixty years.)

At the time of writing, the South Australian Liberal Party had much the same policy.

Written 2014/12/04, modified 2015/01/19
Further notes added, where indicated, in January 2019
Contact: email daveclarkecb@yahoo.com (David Clarke) – ©

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Note, 2019/01/11

It seems that the SA Liberals of the Marshall Government have had a huge change of heart since I wrote this page. Unlike their federal counterparts they seem to have recognised that the Australian people want action on climate change and, in particular, want more renewable energy.
In 2013, David Ridgway, then Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, now Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment in the Marshall government, was vocally and dishonestly opposed to wind power. Since the Liberals came to power he has been very quiet on the subject.

A part of one of South Australia's wind farms
Wind farm
Wattle Point Wind Farm, Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

Will the Liberals kill-off the SA wind industry?


Question put to Steven Marshal

Steven Marshal, leader of the SA parliamentary Liberals, was asked to comment on the SA Liberal's wind power policy on 2015/01/19.
Note: 2019/01/11; I never did receive an answer to that.

Note: 2019/01/11

The federal Liberal party were soundly trounced in the previously strongly held seat of Wentworth in the by-election of October 2018. There can be little doubt that their inaction on energy policy and climate change were big factors.

Note: 2019/01/11

The Victorian election of December 2018 saw a landslide victory go to the standing Labor government. The swing was something like 5% toward Labor and 6% against the Liberal Coalition. Again, energy policy and climate change were very significant factors.

In January 2019 it would seem that the South Australian Liberals have learned the lessons that were plain in these contests.

Wind power in SA has been remarkably successful. We have gone from no wind power in early 2003 to about 34% of our electricity being generated by the wind in 2014. At present SA is a world-leader in the proportion of our wind and solar energy.

The SA Liberals have had many leaders in the last few years, I believe Isobel Redmond was leader when the party produced a flyer announcing that if they came to power they would put into force much the same laws as killed-off the Victorian Wind Industry.

WWF survey shows that Australians want more renewables

A WWF survey found that 89% of Australians want the RET to be increased or stay the same. The same survey, conducted 2014/11/26 and involving 5,036 voters, found that 84% of people want the Federal Government to invest more in renewables.

The Victorian Liberal Government was thrown out after they gutted the wind industry

Leigh Ewbank of Yes2Renewables wrote a piece for Business Spectator, 2014/12/02, on 'How clean energy played out in the Victorian election.

Anti-renewables Abbott Government very unpopular

At the time of writing the Abbott Government was also holding back renewable energy development in Australia, and receiving condemnation from the rest of the world for it's pro-coal, anti-climate action, stance. It is very unpopular with the Australian voters and is also looking like being a one-term government.

Fisher by-election goes against Liberals

The Liberals were expected to be front runners in the 2014/12/06 Fisher by-election to find a replacement for Bob Such. In fact they were trounced by Labor.


If the SA Liberals stick with their anti-renewables policy they are not likely to get into government in the next election and even if they were to get in they would probably be thrown out, like the Victorian Liberals, at the following election.