Outrageous Wind Farm Plan for Battlefield Graveyard Draws Fury from French & Australians

The wind industry is shameless: a plan to spear 6 turbines into the WWI Battlefield of Bullecourt, in Northern France has caused justifiable outrage in France, among those who still recognise the immeasurable sacrifice made by Australian infantrymen in their efforts to set France free from tyranny, a Century ago.

However, that pales with the sense of fury that this thoughtless and callous proposal has generated among those whose forebears lie buried beneath French soil.

STT has already set out the background to what is an appalling affront to the 11,000 Australians who were killed in France and Belgium and who have no known grave – here: Shameless: French Wind Power Outfit, Engie Determined to Desecrate Battlefield Graveyard

Like their ancestors, these Australians are prepared to fight for their ideals. To them, this is Australia’s most hallowed ground and it should be kept that way, forevermore.

South-west woman’s battle to protect history goes international
The Standard
Jenny McLaren
17 November 2017

Port Fairy’s Maria Cameron has taken the fight to stop a wind farm being built on the final resting place of thousands of Australian Diggers in France to the heart of the battlefields.

An outspoken critic of the project, the military researcher has been in demand by French media, notching up six interviews since arriving on the World War I Bullecourt battlefields this week.

Respect: Port Fairy’s Maria and Max Cameron.

 

Her visit follows an on-site meeting last Friday by Australia’s Ambassador to France, Brendan Berne, with local dignitaries and battlefields advocates.

“French journalists have been interviewing me wherever I go,” Mrs Cameron said from Bullecourt. “The mayor of Reincourt also came to see me. It has become big news in France.”

Mrs Cameron arrived on the battlefields in the eye of a media storm over French company Engie Green’s plans to build six wind turbines on the site of the 1917 Bullecourt battles where the bodies of an estimated 2500 Australian soldiers remain unrecovered.

Rick Rowbottom, Max and Maria Cameron and Gilles Durand

 

She played a key role in the Fromelles battlefields mass grave discovery in 2009 and regards Bullecourt as an equally important war grave.

“I am very much against windmills. It is our sacred ground, our blood is in these fields. These men fought for us and I will fight for them,” Mrs Cameron vowed.

She and her husband Max, the great-nephew of Sergeant Simon Fraser who inspired the iconic bronze Cobbers statue at the Australian Memorial Park near Fromelles, made the pilgrimage to attend last Saturday’s Remembrance Day service at Fromelles.

Bullecourt turbine plans draws ire from Australians and locals, alike.

 

Mr Berne met with local woman Colette Durand, who has worked tirelessly to preserve the memories of World War I Aussie Diggers, and the mayors and representatives of Bullecourt and neighbouring towns Reincourt and Noreuil. Mrs Durand’s son, journalist and advocate Gilles Durand has written a book about the Bullecourt battles and plans to produce a report citing a document from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission proving the presence of soldiers’ remains in the fields.

Following diplomatic talks with Veteran’s Affairs Minister and Wannon MP Dan Tehan, the French Government has backed Australia’s opposition to the wind farm and will lodge a submission on Australia’s behalf to a public inquiry on the proposal. Mr Tehan said Mr Berne would also ask the Australian Embassy to make a submission to the inquiry.
The Standard

295,000 Australians went to France: 46,000 never came home.

 

CQ family’s heartache at wind farm plans on unmarked graves
The Morning Standard
Shayla Bulloch
10 November 2017

BLOODSHED: 8th Batt. stretcher bearers carry wounded at Bullecourt.

 

So when news broke of unmarked graves being disturbed on a historic French battlefield, her blood boiled.

On Tuesday, a French newspaper announced plans to build a giant wind farm on the site of the Battle of Bullecourt fought in WWI.

Six turbines are said to be installed in the midst of where thousands of dead Australians are thought to still lay in unmarked graves from the brutal battle.

Around 10,000 Australians died in the two battles on in April and May 1917.

Patricia described the plans as “absolutely horrifying” saying that her lost family member, Fred Laws, who fought on the same ground would be disgusted.

“Our Aussie lads shouldn’t be disturbed,” she said.

“Anyone with any level of decency knows that you wouldn’t go and disturb those men where they lay.”

BRAVERY: Fred Ruxton Laws

 

After enlisting at Rockhampton Showgrounds in 1916, Fred Ruxton Laws was conscripted in the 15th Infantry Battalion and shipped over to France.

Growing up in Ambrose, the young man spent three years in conflict before returning home after being severely wounded.

Unlike many of Fred’s mates, he made it home safely.

Russell Laws, Patricia’s husband and grandson to Fred, grew up alongside his grandfather at the family farm who she says rarely spoke of the horrors of war.

Patricia said after informing her husband of the news he was shocked.

“To him its outrageous,” she said.

“Russell knew him very, very well and is a lot like him.”

Former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman also came out firing saying the plans by French wind power generator Maia Eolis was “an outrage gone too far”.

Patricia said she was appalled with the announcement in the wake of the Battle’s 100 year anniversary.

“You can’t help but be so upset when you know what they’ve gone through,” she said.

“Whole families were lost in these wars… so there’s a lot to be thankful for when you stand here today and hear they want to go and disturb our boys.”

Colonel John Monash inspecting the 13th Battalion.

 

Committed to making her voice heard, Patricia relayed her concerns to Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd to be passed on to federal levels.

She claims when contacting his office Mr O’Dowd was not aware of the news.

“I asked him to make representation on behalf of our family… but was really quite surprised when they weren’t even aware of the issue,” she said.

A spokesperson from Mr O’Dowd’s office said when Patricia raised concerns to the office they were aware of the news but Mr O’Dowd was not present at the time.

Patricia urged anyone else effected by the news to contact their local members in an effort to get the Prime Minister’s attention.

“I hardly think there wouldn’t be a family affected by this,” she said.

“I am hoping our local member will take that on board and join our family across with the entire continent.”

Condemning the plans, Patricia thinks the sacred land should be left in peace instead of boasting “eyesore windmills”.

“A lot of the boys were from the country so I think they’d appreciate a cow grazing on top of them instead,” she said.

Minister of Veteran Affairs, Honourable Dan Tehan, has addressed the issue saying he hoped the farm would not go ahead.

“I understand why the Australian people feel so strongly about this, especially when the French go to the levels that they do to help us commemorate on their soil,” he said.

“So I think they will be very understanding about this, and I think that if we work cooperatively with the French Government I think we’ll get the outcome that we need.”
The Morning Bulletin

About stopthesethings

We are a group of citizens concerned about the rapid spread of industrial wind power generation installations across Australia.

Comments

  1. Jackie Rovensky says:

    There will never be a more horrendous example of the depths of depravity this industry will stoop to. The depravity of this industry could not stand out more. It’s money and money only that this industry is ruled by.
    They are not now only harming living beings but are determined to destroy the resting places of those who gave their lives for others, which no doubt could include the forbearers of those who are intent on this action. We are all in some way touched by what these men gave up whether Australian, British, French or other. Whether they died in this place or elsewhere their memories are in danger of being stomped on by this industry, today it’s Bullecourt tomorrow it could be some other place.
    That this company did not withdraw its plans once people began to call for the site to be left alone speaks volumes about how they disregard anything that attempts to stand it their way, but it also speaks volumes that the French Government hasn’t stepped in to stop them.

  2. Many people consider General Sir John Monash, pictured in the STT article, was Australia's greatest military leader.  That is probably true, but to some extent Monash's post war engineering achievements left his distinguished military career in the shade.

    Starting around 1920, civil engineer Monash conceived and implemented the early development of Victoria's extensive Latrobe Valley brown coal deposits (Monash second from right) which provided the reliable, affordable electricity that underpinned Victoria's economic prosperity for almost a century

    Sadly in our current, post normal science era, Australia's ideological Left has captured our institutions and universities making them part of the problem rather than part of any potential solution to our current energy woes.

  3. I grew up with the war stories from my elders. They sort of jokingly used to say how quickly the French surrendered to the Germans. You know what I think that’s ok, not everyone is cut out for fighting. But you had better be good at being grateful to the people that came to your aid. Out of all the things these wind industry bastards have done over the last 10 years this truly puts hate in my heart.

    Insidious. ..

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