Australia celebrates as wind farm plans for World War One battlefield are scrapped

Australia celebrates as wind farm plans for World War One battlefield are scrapped

Many visit the memorial near the Bullecourt killing fields

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The families of Australian soldiers who fought in the First World War have welcomed the scrapping of plans for a wind farm in France.

The renewable energy hub was set to be built on the site of a WW1 battlefield, which has become known as the Bullecourt killing fields and is now a natural burial ground.

Roughly 10,000 Australians were either wounded or killed on the field in 1917 and most of the bodies were never recovered.

A memorial has now been set up for those who were in the conflict nearby which many families visit, according to The Local.

Australia's minister for veterans' affairs, Dan Tehan, said: "This is wonderful news for every Australian and especially those with a family connection to the Battle of Bullecourt."

He added that French energy company Engie Green, which was going o install the wind farm, had listened to the Australian people and the concerns they had and "have acted with empathy by cancelling this project."

The minister also spoke to Sky News about how grateful he is and claimed this shows that the French still "take so importantly what Australians were prepared to do for them."

Valentine Starkey was one of the soldiers who died in the second battle of Bullecourt and his nephew told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation the campaign against the wind farm by the French and Australians was "heart-warming."

He added that the group is not against wind farms, only against them on the battlefield.