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Farmers rally to halt Labor’s reckless renewables rollout

Farmers from around Australia will gather outside Parliament House today, (Tuesday,
February 6,) alongside small businesses and residents of impacted communities, to warn
about the inevitable rising food and energy prices under Labor’s reckless race towards
renewables.
The National Rally Against Reckless Renewables is calling for the suspension of Labor’s plans
to rip up agricultural land, which will destroy farming communities and reduce the supply of
food, therefore driving up food prices.
Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said regional Australia was being forced to bear
the brunt of inner-city ideology and regional communities were being destroyed as a result,
with little consultation.
“Labor is pursuing a reckless 82 per cent renewables target by 2030, which is driving up
costs and threatening agricultural land, regional communities and native flora and fauna,”
Mr Littleproud said.
“We need to know how much agricultural land is earmarked, where is it earmarked and
when will the projects be forced onto local communities? We also need to know how much
these projects will cost taxpayers and what are the protection rights of property owners?
“We have time to pause, to plan and to use common sense. Sadly, it’s becoming obvious
that renewables are losing their social licence because they are destroying the very thing
they were designed to protect, including native vegetation and endangered species.”
For Labor to meet its targets, 40 7-megawatt wind turbines will need to be installed every
month until 2030, while 22,000 five hundred-watt panels need to be installed every day, or
60 million by 2030. Labor will also require 34 times the current amount of utility-scale
variable renewable energy in the national electricity market to meet its hydrogen export
ambitions.
Victorian farmer Ben Duxson, who has 8500 merino sheep as well as canola, barley and
wheat on his 5500-acre farm in Kanya, southern Wimmera, will attend the Canberra rally.
“No one in our area wants anything to do with windfarms, solar or transmission lines,
because we are farmers of food and fibre, not energy,” Mr Duxson said.
“Labor is not thinking about the environment or the social or financial impact and my
message to Labor is ‘start again’. Food and fibre security, sustainability and affordability are
all in jeopardy if this plan goes ahead. We will fight against the reckless plan Labor has for
Australia’s energy sector.”
National Rational Energy Group vice-chair and Kilkivan Action Group organiser Katy
McCallum is also attending the rally, pleading with Labor to call for a Senate Inquiry,
suspend harmful renewable projects and lift the ban on nuclear.
She believes skinks are in danger of becoming extinct if the $14.2 billion Borumba Pumped
Hydro and the Forest Wind projects in Wide Bay, Queensland, goes ahead.
“We are in the fight of our lives, things are bad up here,” Mrs McCallum said.
“They are going to push this through and destroy our state because they can. We need a
federal Senate Inquiry, this needs to stop.
“We need the message out there that the world knows what they are about to do. The skink is living up here and is in danger of becoming extinct but Labor has failed to list the skink in
any assessment.”
Mrs McCallum wrote a submission to Labor’s Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek on
November 15, 2023, writing in her concerns:
“Alarmingly, we have been unable to locate any reference to the Nangur Spiny Skink in the
literature we have so far located… We have serious concerns that this critically endangered
species (listed under the EPBC Act and the NC Act) may live in areas where the transmission
lines have been proposed. The loss of even one Nangur Skink, let alone a mating pair, would
be criminal and attract international condemnation.”
Mrs McCallum said it was a strange coincidence that on December 12, 2023, the Courier
Mail then reported the Department of Environment had released 14 of the Nangur spiny
skinks into the wild.
Gympie DES releases critically endangered Nangur spiny skinks | The Courier Mail
“If the government is so concerned about skinks, they should halt the Borumba Pumped
Hydro project,” Mrs McCallum said.
“It is a huge worry and none of it adds up.”

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