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The Fortnight

Farmers protest

Oct 15, 1999 | From the print edition

farmers and residents of South Gippsland, Australia, have warned the state government that it will face protests and blockades if a proposed high-voltage overhead power line is allowed to pass through the region. About 1,300 people attended a meeting in the South Gippsland town of Leongatha recently to discuss the proposal that could see up to 300 electricity pylons installed in some of Victoria's most attractive coastal and agricultural land near Wilsons Promontory.

The pylons would be about 45 metres high. The project is a part of the us $350 million Basslink proposal to link the Tasmanian and Victorian electricity systems. A spokesperson said many farmers are prepared to blockade city streets if necessary, even, though the Basslink board has promised to look at all the environmental, social and community impacts of the project.

"I think we could learn a lot from the way the French farmers protest. We've tried taking the middle ground and we've got nowhere. So, perhaps stronger action is needed," the spokesperson, Robert Liley said.


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