Successful send-off for solar walkers

Port Augusta, September 16. Photo courtesy of Ruth Ratcliffe.

On September 16, 100 people began a 300-kilometre journey, walking from Port Augusta to Adelaide to highlight the importance of building a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta and to call for state and federal government support for the project.

At the start of the walk, the Repower Port Augusta Alliance held a gathering in the city’s Gladstone Square to celebrate the community survey in July that showed high support for solar. The survey results were announced on July 22 and showed 4053 residents were in favour of solar thermal and only 43 in favour of the government-planned gas option to replace Port Augusta’s two ageing coal fired power stations.

The Repower Port Augusta Alliance has developed a solid proposal to replace the coal plants with six solar-thermal plants and 95 wind turbines. This will create 1800 jobs, save 5 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of the local community and ensure energy security and stable electricity prices.

The rally was addressed by Alinta employee Gary Rowbottom; Port Augusta Mayor Joy Baluch; local nurse and Repower committee member Elizabeth Zyla; and Leo Herweijer of the Australian Youth Climate Coalition.

The walkers, who range in age from just five to people in their 60s, will arrive in Adelaide on September 30 and will be greeted with a rally in Rundle Park at 1pm. The rally will be chaired by media personality Dr Karl Kruszelnicki. A bus will also be coming to the rally from Port Augusta.

[For more details contact repowerptaugusta@gmail.com or phone Gemma on 0437 714 786.]

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