The much-hyped anti-wind rally held outside Parliament House in Canberra couldn’t rally many people to its cause yesterday, mustering just 150 people.
By comparison the pro-wind rally hastily organised in the CBD of Canberra to provide a counter picture managed between 600 to 700 people. The picture below of the anti-wind rally on the left and pro-wind rally on the right appears to tell a thousand words.
Shock jock Alan Jones was clearly a little taken aback by the poor turnout at the anti-wind rally, stating to the crowd, “There aren’t a lot of people here. They don’t have time or the resources.”
Nick Xenophon, who had initially agreed to attend the anti-wind rally, subsequently pulled out. He said in a statement it was because he subsequently realised he’d double booked himself to attend the pro-wind rally as well. How he didn’t realise this double-booking seems rather odd given both rallies were concerned with wind power and it would have been possible to attend both given the short travel distance between them.
Interestingly, one of Xenophon’s former advisers now works for Get-Up who helped organise the pro-wind rally in conjunction with Friends of the Earth's Yes2Renewables campaign. One wonders whether Xenophon got cold feet once warned by his former adviser about some of the people involved in the anti-wind rally such as Alan Jones and some of his extremist hangers-on.
Independent Tony Windsor on the other hand was clearly aware of Jones’ involvement, stating to the pro-wind rally crowd, “One of the reasons I’m pleased to be here is that Alan Jones is somewhere else.”
Gwenda Allgood, the Mayor of Ararat in Victoria (where a number of wind farms are proposed) questioned whether there was a meaningful grass roots element to the anti-wind movement stating to the rally, "Nobody knows who is funding these anti-wind farm scaremongerers, but we do know they have been proven wrong time and time again".