Federal Member for Maranoa David Littleproud at the anti-renewables protest (Photo: LNP)
Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien with Kilkivan Action group member Glenda Pickersgill and joey “Miss Stripe” (Photo: LNP)

August 22, 2023

The three Federal MPs who represent the South Burnett have all come out in support of a rally against “reckless renewables” held in Brisbane on Tuesday.

Nationals MPs David Littleproud (Maranoa), Colin Boyce (Flynn) and Llew O’Brien (Wide Bay) backed the rally which was promoted by Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry.

Attendees, including Kilkivan Action Group founder Katy McCallum, urged the State Government to “rethink its plans to destroy prime agricultural land and pristine rainforest and animal habitat throughout Queensland”.

The rally targeted the proposed Borumba Dam and Pioneer-Burdekin pumped hydro schemes and the Forest Wind windfarm project, which is planned for a pine plantation in Tuan State Forest, south of Maryborough.

Ms McCallum, who has been leading protests against the Powerlink transmission lines for the Borumba project, said the local community “completely objected” to Labor’s plans.

“Our major concern is the destruction of our stunning district and irreparable damage to the environment, where so much amazing flora and fauna live,” she said.

“The Borumba Pumped Hydro project has not met its requirements under social licence and nobody in our area wants it.”

Mr Littleproud said The Nationals had been trying to get a Senate Inquiry into renewables “because irreversible damage to Queensland’s rainforest and wildlife is at risk” but had been blocked by the Greens and Labor.

Mr O’Brien described Wide Bay as a “battle ground where local property owners were standing up for their rights and rightfully demanding their voices be heard”.

“The Borumba Pumped Hydro and Forest Wind projects and their associated transmission lines will threaten communities from the Fraser Coast to Gympie, and through the South Burnett, affecting private landholders, natural habitats and remnant vegetation, and governments must listen to the voices of our community,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr Boyce said there were many people fighting battles against renewable companies across the country.

“This all directly correlates with the fact that the renewable energy sector is proposing huge infrastructure projects to meet Minister (for Climate Change and Energy Chris) Bowen’s 82 per cent renewable energy target by 2030,” Mr Boyce said.

There has been long-term support for the coal industry within The Nationals.

Mr Boyce has previously slammed the State Government’s increases in the coal royalty tax, saying it was “stifling investment in the resources industry” in his electorate.

Ms Landry was a prominent supporter of the Carmichael coal mine in her electorate and the jobs promised by Indian company Adani, describing opposition to it on environmental grounds as “crazy”.

Both Ms Landry and Mr Littleproud have also spoken in support of converting existing coal-fired power stations to nuclear power generation plants.

The Federal Government banned nuclear power in 1998 after a sustained public campaign by anti-nuclear groups.

Mr Littleproud was reported in metropolitan media last month as saying: “I would support a process to explore small-scale modular reactor technology in my electorate with appropriate consultation and education of the community if a moratorium was removed”.

He has urged the “rush” to renewable energy be slowed so Australia can “plan properly and look at the emerging technology”.

This emerging technology would include small modular reactors (SMRs) the first of which are already operating in Russia.

Member for Flynn Colin Boyce talking at Tuesday’s protest rally in Brisbane (Photo: LNP)


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