Olive Yates: Green bank boss called hypocrite for opposing NSW wind farms trends now
A former boss of the government-owned 'green bank' which funds renewable energy projects has been branded a 'hypocrite' after he savaged proposals for an massive offshore wind farm near his holiday home.
Oliver Yates, who ran the Clean Energy Finance Corporation from 2012 to 2017, was personally responsible for ensuring Australia's first offshore wind farm - the Star of the South - progressed to approval stage.
But he has now publicly criticised the proposed ocean site for wind turbines close to his property on the New South Wales Central Coast, questioning whether the Australian people are being 'conned' by developers who are 'acting like fossil fuel companies'.
Oliver Yates (pictured with his daughter) was personally responsible for ensuring Australia's first offshore wind farm progressed to approval stage
The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water closed its consultation on its Hunter Offshore Renewable Energy Area last month. The zone (pictured), which extends from Port Stephens to Norah Head, 10km off the NSW coast, could see turbines standing 250m above sea level
Mr Yates sparked debate on Twitter by bemoaning that the sunrise from Terrigal would be marred by wind turbines
His intervention has prompted accusations of 'NIMBYism', with commentator and renewable energy critic Prue MacSween branding his stance 'total hypocrisy'.
'I find it really amusing to see how people like him have got every excuse under the sun to claim they are not a NIMBY,' she said.
'But in the cold heart light of day when they are faced with the fact that it could invade their space and upset their cosy little life… It's just a joke.'
She added: 'He's now got reality biting and he's not happy about it.'
But Mr Yates has hit back, telling Daily Mail Australia that it is 'natural that people take an interest in projects that have an impact on the communities they know'.
The former financier has taken issue with a government-proposed site extending from Port Stephens in the Hunter region to Norah Head on the Central Coast, 10km offshore, which would see turbines standing 250m above sea level.
Mr Yates, who renounced the Liberal Party before standing unsuccessfully as an independent in the Melbourne seat of Kooyong at the 2019 federal election, told Daily Mail Australia his main issue was about a lack of community consultation after submissions closed last month.
'I am a massive supporter of renewables but have always been aware that the financial benefit a developer can make from a project can impact their ethics just like any other company,' he said.
But the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water said the 60-day consultation period led to almost 2,000 submission which are now being considered.
Mr Yates further argued that 'not all wind farms are the same' and said that the proposed sites could potentially impact whale migration routes.
Former CEO of the Clean Energy Corporation Fund Oliver Yates said that the turbines could be 'as high as the tallest building in Sydney or Melbourne' (Pictured: offshore wind farm project in the North Sea)
Oliver Yates (pictured, middle) has been accused of 'NIMBYism' over his opposition to government plans for a wind farm off the Central. But he has defended his comments, telling Daily Mail Australia that 'not all wind farms are the same'
He also took issue with the impact the turbines will have on the as-yet-unspoiled views along the coast.
'To be efficient these turbines will need to be as high as the tallest building in Melbourne or Sydney and therefore they will have a visual impact,' he said.
'Australia is different to Denmark, we love our beaches and they are part of our identity and therefore assets that impact the visuals are an issue.'
The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water closed its consultation on its Hunter Offshore Renewable Energy Area last month.
The zone, which extends from Port Stephens to Norah Head, 10km off the NSW coast, could see turbines standing 250m above sea level.
But the Central Coast Council has called for more information and community consultation on how it will