VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT REPEALS ANTI-WIND FARM LAWS
The Victorian Labor government has repealed the worst aspects of the Coalition's anti-wind farm laws.
After a strong community campaign led by Friends of the Earth, the Andrews government announced it will remove the 2km right of veto that allowed householders to block wind farms. This measure will be replaced by a 1km buffer zone.
The planning minister will return as the decision maker for projects, taking the burden of assessing planning applications from local councils. The government will also allow community projects to be exempted from the wind farm “no-go zones” established by Premier Ted Baillieu.
PUERTO RICO DECLARES SUPPORT FOR EQUAL MARRIAGE
The Puerto Rico Justice Department announced on March 20 that it would not defend the ban on same-sex marriage.
The ban had been challenged as unconstitutional by several gay couples leading the government to conclude it can no longer discriminate against the gay community. The US Supreme Court is also expected to issue a ruling by the end of June regarding several same-sex marriage cases that would also apply to Puerto Rico and four other US territories.
AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST SOLAR PLANT COMES ONLINE
Australia’s largest solar plant, in the NSW town of Nyngan, began feeding energy into the grid late this month. Reneweconomy.com.au reported: “Beginning at 25 MW, the First Solar-developed operation will be fully connected at 102MW by July, making it the largest single PV installation in the Southern Hemisphere, at least until a 141 MW solar plant in Chile – also being developed by First Solar – is connected later this year.”
A second plant is being built in Broken Hill and when completed the two projects will generate enough clean solar energy to power 50,000 households in NSW.
JAKARTA ENDS WATER PRIVATISATION
The Coalition of Jakarta Residents Opposing Water Privatization have stopped water privatisation in Jakarta after a Central Jakarta District Court agreed that two private water companies have been “negligent in fulfilling the human right to water for Jakarta’s residents”.
The group filed a lawsuit against city administration, calling for them to void a contract between the city and private operators. The court ordered the end of privatisation and instructed the city to resume responsibility for water distribution.