Project to build wind farms at the site of the Battle of Bullecourt will not proceed

Bullecourt Little Cross

A project to build wind farms at the site of the Battle of Bullecourt will not proceed

Remembrance of the Battles of Bullecourt, 10-11 April and 3-17 May 1917, have been kept alive by the local community over the past hundred years. Four memorials, the Bullecourt Digger, the bronze Slouch Hat, the Little Cross memorial, and the Jean and Denise Letaille Museum, are testament to the commitment of the people of this small French community.  They have honoured, respected and preserved the sacrifice of the Australian and British troops who fought, who may have been killed in action, who may have been wounded in these fields. In the first battle, the AIF took 3,289 casualties; the second saw 7,482 Australian and 6,800 British casualties. 

French company Energie Green had proposed to erect a series of wind turbines as a means of generating power, on the battlefield site, where 2,423 men of the AIF lie in unmarked graves. Each year, significant numbers of Australians travel to Bullecourt to pay their respects to the men who fought in the battles and those who were killed in action.

After widespread concern being expressed at the proposal, media coverage and diplomatic representations have led to the project being terminated.

Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan released the following statement:

21 November 2017

Bullecourt Wind farms

Statement from Minister for Defence Personnel and Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan on
the announcement that a project to build wind farms at the site of the Battle of
Bullecourt would not proceed.

“What a great reminder that we will never forget,” Mr Tehan said.
“This is wonderful news for every Australian and especially those with a family
connection to the Battle of Bullecourt.
“Some 2300 Australians who died at Bullecourt have no known grave and Australians
were rightly concerned about the potential impact of a construction project at the site.
“The ENGIE Group has listened to the concerns of the Australian people and they have
acted with empathy by cancelling this project.
“I would like to thank the ENGIE Group, who listened to our concerns, for the respect
they have shown for the sacrifice made by Australian soldiers on French soil one
hundred years ago and the French Government, who made representations on behalf of
Australia.
“Seeing how passionate Australians were about protecting the final resting place of the
Bullecourt soldiers was a powerful reminder that we will never forget the service and
sacrifice of the men and women who fight for our freedom and values.”

Click here to download a copy of Minister Tehan’s Media Statement Bullecourt 2017 11 21 Tehan statement – Bullecourt wind farms

 

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