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Anti-renewables rally in Canberra covered on Flow's Country Viewpoint program

Rural and regional Australians from around the country have piled into the capital today to protest against 'reckless renewables'.

Image credit: Port Stephens, Newcastle Coast Turbine Talk official Facebook page

Farmers and conservationists have united to convey their frustrations in relation to the abundance of transmission lines which will feature prominently in remote settings due to regional renewable energy developments.

Flow dedicated an entire show of coverage for the rally on the Country Viewpoint this week by profiling two of the Canberra protestors who are based in NSW.

Lynette LaBlack farms in the Riverina and expressed to listeners of the Country Viewpoint program that she believed the rollout of renewables in Australia is unrealistic.

"The plan is really what I would call a transition to extinction, I mean when they talk about renewable energy, I call it renewable as in B-U-L-L, because it's so disingenuous," LaBlack said.

"Behind this solar wind transition is the people who are making an absolute mobster out of it.

"To me it's well from what we can say it's all about the money, the people of Australia are going to end up with a pathetic part-time intermittent power system, only like 30% capacity.

"When there's no sun and there's no wind, there'll be no power...I mean the batteries are ridiculous, they're incapable, no planning, who wants this junk? It's all going to end up to be just toxic waste everywhere and we'll be left with the burden, the rural communities, that's where it's going to end up."

Many individuals from Australian farming communities are also expressing their opposition for the renewables direction due to potentially hazardous ramifications for Australian birdlife and aquatic life.

Newcastle and Port Stephens Game Fish Club President, Troy Radford, detailed how infrastructure builds which would feed renewable energy into the grid, could harm Australian conservation.

"It is huge, there's 80,000 whales that travel through this area every season, we have one of the biggest fleets on the east coast of Australia that travel out to view the whales, dolphins and all the marine life, If this goes ahead, it will affect all of this and the economy will go downhill," Radford said. 

"We have a bird here called the Gould's petrel, there's only 2000 nesting pairs of these in the world and we have an island here off Port Stevens called Cabbage Tree Island, that's the only place at present that these birds breed".

"Now these birds travel out to sea overnight to feed and they travel backwards and forwards, these turbines are out there."

From the proponents own reports, they state that these turbines will have a devastating effect to bird life - over 300 turbines, 360 metres high, we're going to have all the birds flying through and we're going to have a mess."

Radford said it would be a further financial hit to people of the Hunter region, which already has experienced a number of false dawns historically.

"[Chris] Bowen talks about that it's going to create jobs for the Hunter, the jobs that it will create are the overseas highly skilled labour that we don't have, the people here in Port Stephens are mainly tourism and hospitality workers, so they're going to be without a job."

"They're not trained to work on those towers and at the end of the day, it will decimate the Port Stephens and the Moore Coast economy."


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