Angus Taylor: Infigen’s backdoor deal with ACT will triple power prices in Canberra

Angus Taylor

Angus ‘The Enforcer” Taylor: on the war path again


Infigen (aka Babcock and Brown) are DESPERATE to flog their wind farm interests in Australia and head back home to the US. They have a stack of planned and approved wind farms in Victoria and NSW, but haven’t got a snowball’s chance in hell of building any of them without a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). In a last ditch move they’ve managed to sign a PPA with the ACT Government. 

In what is viewed as a direct attack on Angus ‘The Enforcer’ Taylor, the ACT plans to have Infigen’s fans slung up all over Angus’ electorate of Hume, which borders the ACT to the North. The ACT claims the deal will allow it to go 90% renewable, which is strange, because almost 100% of the power supplied to Canberra comes from the Snowy Hydro scheme – the cleanest sparks of all.

The ACT’s planning rule book prohibits giant fans, so the burden will all fall in NSW, mostly in Hume.

Quite rightly, Taylor has reacted with fury and has joined forces with NSW State colleagues to tip a bucket on the plan. Here is the Canberra Times’ take on the story.

ACT whips up debate with wind farm plans
Ross Peake
15 March 2014

Canberra’s neighbouring MPs say they are being treated as ”the ACT’s junkyard” as the national capital aggressively boosts funding for wind farms in the region.

NSW and federal Coalition MPs say they will oppose the plan by ACT Environment Minister Simon Corbell to give 20-year government-backed contracts to developers whose projects have been stalled by uncertainty.

A statement given to The Canberra Times on Friday said the loose coalition would ”fight” the ACT’s decision to boost investment in renewable energy projects. But Mr Corbell said he was shocked at the misinformation being peddled.

He was scathing of claims power prices would skyrocket. ”I think there’s a lot of misinformation about renewables and, in particular, how the ACT’s policy is going to work,” he said.

”I’m shocked that local and federal members representing the region would be opposed to jobs and investment in their region.

”The development of wind farms in NSW will only occur if they are approved consistent with NSW planning laws.

”Household costs will on average remain $1000 less per annum than equivalent costs in Queanbeyan and that really does demonstrate that the ACT is implementing a plan which is both affordable and achievable.

”Obviously, elected representatives are seeking to reflect concerns in their communities, but equally, I think it is incumbent on them to engage in those discussions based on the facts and based on the context in which the national electricity market operates.”

Landowners with ridges suitable for wind farms receive thousands of dollars each year for allowing installation of the huge turbines. Member for Hume Angus Taylor, who organised the coalition, said the ACT’s ambition to have 90 per cent of its power from renewable energy within six years was ”green policy gone mad”. ”First casualties will be Canberra businesses and Canberra homes,” he said. ”I challenge Simon Corbell to admit that wholesale electricity prices will triple under his plan. ”We’ll go knocking on their [Canberra businesses] doors with an open invitation to come across the border to avoid the power bills.”

Mr Corbell hosted a meeting on Thursday of interested parties, where NSW parliamentary secretary for renewable energy Rob Stokes congratulated the ACT government for ”bold and innovative” policies on renewable energy. But John Barilaro, Nationals state member for Monaro, challenged Mr Stokes’ support for the scheme to buy power from NSW, describing it as unfair.

”I’m sick and tired of NSW being ACT’s junkyard,” Mr Barilaro said. ”The ACT’s policies come at the expense of NSW landowners, it’s simply not acceptable.

”Regional and rural communities are strongly opposed to wind farms – without broad community support for these developments, they should never be approved.”

Mr Barilaro recently called on the state government to halt approvals of NSW wind farms until the federal government reviews the renewable energy target.

The Abbott government blames a mandated target for renewables for driving up electricity prices.

Yass Valley mayor Rowena Abbey said communities in the southern highlands were ”really angry” about wind farm projects.
Canberra Times

STT tips that this is one battle with a long way to run.

The big ticket cost items will involve upgrading networks in NSW – including new transmission lines, substations and switching gear – all housed in and paid for by NSW. You see, the ACT wants to have its cake and eat it too. It wants the ‘green glory’ of having sparks from giant fans – but without suffering any of the network and distribution costs, or the social impact costs – such as unliveable homes and divided communities.

The NSW Liberal government is not going to let that happen any time soon. The aim is to make the ACT 100% liable for all of the costs arising  from its PPA with Infigen. When those costs are sheeted home to Canberra’s power punters, the deal will quickly lose its lustre.

As Angus Taylor puts it, ‘wholesale electricity prices will triple’ under the ACT’s plan. Currently, Canberra enjoys the lowest power prices in Australia, mainly because it does not have any serious reliance on wind power.

But, it seems the ACT are hell bent on following South Australia to the top of the international power price ladder. SA has 40% of its generating capacity in wind power and pays the highest power prices in the world (see our post here).

With Angus Taylor and his NSW buddies on the warpath, STT tips that the ACT plan won’t get very far. But, we give Infigen 10 out of 10 for trying to save its hide.

miles george

Miles George: Almost pulled it off.

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.


  1. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    While household costs may be reduced in the ACT, just where will the ACT Government get the money to pay Infigen?
    Could it be from increased tax or a ‘levy’?
    Will the people of the ACT end up paying for something they don’t get, as the wind is intermittent, is that acceptable spending of public money?
    Will they be paying these companies to provide energy which they cannot supply consistently and reliably? Or will the cost of energy from their current sources cost more at those times because they have to keep equipment maintained and ready to use at a moment’s notice?

    Why do they not allow Industrial Wind Turbines to be erected in the ACT? Is it because of the noise and visual impact? The possible adverse health effects? Or is it because people in the ACT need uninterrupted sleep to be able to function and do their work effectively and have BBQ’s and live an outdoor life without the intrusion of a ‘foreign’ noise spoiling their relaxation time?

    Keep up the pressure Angus Taylor. ACT needs to be made to pay the full price for destroying the environment of those living in NSW, that will be the only way they will understand Wind Energy is not FREE energy.

  2. Jackie Rovenksy says:

    So ACT says they will produce jobs for NSW. Can they confirm just how many full time jobs will ensue? Can they with honesty say that household costs will come down by approximately $1000, when around the nation and the world everywhere these things are installed and utilised power prices and costs go up? Of course, if he is talking about prices going down because all the costs of installing and operating these things will be born by NSW he may be right.
    Surely if they are so sure of their ‘facts’, then they should have no problem sanctioning the installation of these things along ACT roadsides and around and inside Lake Burley Griffin. I am sure they would receive a resounding thank you and support from the Greens and supporters of these useless things who live and work in the ACT.
    They’d have no trouble supporting such a move – in their backyards!!!!!

  3. Angus ‘The Enforcer’ Taylor, get stuck into Babcock and Brown, sorry, Infigen and their top weasel, Miles George.

    It must be great to be corrupt to the core, like Infigen and the rest of their wind weasel and greentard goon fan clubs. If they were good business citizens of this nation, they would not have anything to do with these corrupt fan scams.

    Lies, lies, lies, that is what it is all about.

  4. Michael Crawford says:

    Barry O’Farrell could have banned these things at any time in the last 3 years. Why hasn’t he?


  1. […] When the deal was announced a few weeks back Angus came out swinging and hasn’t stopped since (see our post here). […]

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