The tale of two rallies…

Posted on June 20, 2013 by

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Politicians, policy makers, and media commentators, take note: people want wind energy.

The verdict came on Tuesday, when renewable energy supporters went head to head with anti-wind energy campaigners in the nation’s capital.

Led by right-wing shock jock Alan Jones, an anti-wind farm rally at Parliament House failed to draw a crowd. A meagre one hundred people showed up to rant and rave about wind energy.

According to a Nine MSN report:

“Alan Jones has lost a battle of the ‘wind wars’, with a rally against wind farms headlined by the radio shock jock failing to draw large crowds to Parliament House.”

“The lacklustre attendance at Tuesday’s protest was seized upon by supporters of clean energy, who claimed victory in the “wind wars” by staging a much larger counter rally in Canberra’s city centre.”

“Much larger crowd” was an understatement. In Garema Place, the people’s centre of Canberra, up to one thousand people joined Friends of the Earth and GetUp!’s Rally 4 Renewables.

y2r rally

Rally 4 Renewables – Garema Place, Canberra

The rally’s speakers included Greens Leader Christine Milne. She questioned why only English speakers suffered from the so-called “wind turbine sickness,” referring to the research conducted by Simon Chapman and Fiona Crichton identifying the real cause of symptoms as the anti-wind campaigning that occurs predominantly in English-speaking countries.

Also present were Yvette D’ath, Labor’s Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and independent Tony Windsor, receiving a cheer for his comment: “The best thing about being here is that Alan Jones isn’t.”

From Waubra, wind farmer Karen Molloy shattered the myths propagated by the Waubra Foundation– the organisation behind claims of a wind farm noise disease. And the mayor of Ararat (the proposed site of up to 75 new turbines), Genda Allgood, questioned the legitimacy of the the anti-wind movement.

Wind farmer

Waubra wind farmer Karen Molloy speaks to 1000 people at the Rally 4 Renewables, Canberra.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the capital, the “Wind Power Fraud” rally was struggling; Alan Jones playing MC to a handful of rogue Coalition and marginal politicians.

Senator Chris Back spoke, admitting claims Victoria’s wind farms had contravened planning laws were unsubstantiated. Ron Boswell gave his usual vitriol, calling renewable energy a fraud. Also attending were the Liberal MP Craig Kelly and candidate Angus Taylor and renegade Victorian Senator John Madigan. Retiring Liberal MP Alby Schultz, who had promised to attend, failed to make it. Sources tell Yes 2 Renewables that shadow energy minister Ian Macfarlane implored Coalition members of Parliament not to appear at the anti-wind event.

Anti-wind farm - racist sign

Anti-wind farm campaigners target Japan and India.

In an additional blow to the anti-wind energy campaign, South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon pulled out at the last minute. Perhaps he realised that it was electorally imprudent to associate himself with the fringe movement. Yes 2 Renewables congratulate Senator Xenophon for distancing himself from the anti-wind energy campaign.

TAKE ACTION – Support Yes 2 Renewables

Yes 2 Renewables and our partners GetUp! are proud to have put a stop to the anti-wind farm lobby’s gathering momentum. Yes 2 Renewables are determined to build on this success and help drive Australia towards a renewable energy future. To do this we need your help:

  • If you have a few spare bob, we ask you to consider making a donation to the campaign. It’ll make a huge difference.
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  • Volunteer with the campaign by contacting Leigh.Ewbank [at] foe.org.au
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