The Clean Energy Council strongly refutes repeated claims that we have engaged in any 'smear campaign' against individuals or held a 'secret' meeting with Moyne Shire Councillors.
Our role is to advocate for policies to support the industry, work with local, state and federal governments to increase demand for clean energy products, and promote the clean energy industry both to decision-makers and the broader Australian population.
At the same time, we recognise that major infrastructure developments can be a cause for concern for local communities. It's why we encourage and have set commitments for thorough community consultation and engagement through our Best Practice Charter.
Last November, we met with some of our members who have projects or proposed projects in Moyne to discuss how the industry can build further community support for wind farms and how it can respond to those who are opposed to wind farms. This meeting was in no way 'secret' and is a regular part of our operations meeting with members to discuss common issues. The Moyne Council was not involved in the organisation of the meeting and was not invited.
From the meeting, the Clean Energy Council circulated a draft plan to meeting attendees about possible steps that could be taken to deepen community support for wind energy in Moyne. This draft plan proposed compiling and disseminating information about the benefits provided to the region by wind projects, possibly using targeted social media advertising. It also contemplated commissioning opinion polling about public perceptions of wind energy in the region and gauging public understanding of the benefits provided by the industry to inform how we might address community concerns.
We've previously met with Moyne Shire Council, as we regularly do with all levels of government across the country, to discuss a range of opportunities and challenges in supporting renewable energy projects in the region.
We have worked consistently and professionally over more than a decade to drive and support the growth of renewables – a key part of Australia's and Moyne's current and future economy. We believe south-western Victoria and Moyne, in particular, have a major role in Australia's energy future, and there are myriad economic and social benefits that can come from this.