Media Release (Image 1 and Image 2)

A recent national community impact survey facilitated by Property Rights Australia (PRA) and the National Rational Energy Network (NREN) has revealed a staggering level of scepticism and dissatisfaction among rural and regional Australians towards the current implementation of renewable energy projects. “The survey, which generated 775 responses from diverse rural communities, paints a bleak picture of distrust and perceived neglect by both government and energy companies,” said Jim Willmott, Chair of Property Rights Australia.

A Cry for Fairness and Transparency

The findings are resounding. An overwhelming 93% of respondents believe that the government has not acted in good faith in rolling out these renewable energy projects. This sentiment is echoed by nearly all who feel that government departments have failed to conduct open and transparent consultations, and an even larger portion assert that their concerns have been completely ignored.

Adding to this mistrust, 76% of respondents reported feeling pressured by energy companies to allow access to their private properties, with a mere 3% believing that these companies have acted with integrity.

Communities Left Behind in the Rush to Renewable Energy

The survey respondents expressed deep cynicism about the touted benefits of renewable energy. They criticised the government’s handling of the transition to clean energy, describing it as rushed and lacking in genuine community consultation. The perceived environmental and social impacts are significant, with most doubting that the government has fully considered the environmental repercussions and a similar number believing that the impacts on families and rural communities have been overlooked.

Economic and Health Strains Weigh Heavily

Economic concerns are at the forefront of these communities’ minds. A significant 80% of respondents believe that renewable energy projects are driving up electricity prices, while many feel these developments are exacerbating the cost of living pressures. Alarmingly, many respondents reported adverse health and social effects, including difficulties in focusing, feelings of isolation, and increased irritability. An astonishing 73% admitted to feeling emotional over trivial issues, highlighting the stress and strain these projects could be placing on rural populations.

“This survey is a powerful call to action. The results underscore the urgent need for a more transparent, inclusive, and considerate approach to transitioning to a clean energy future.”

“The clear distrust in both government and renewable energy companies reveals a significant gap in communication and engagement with rural Australians,” said Mr Willmott.

“My concern is not that government is not listening. My concern is that they know the damage they are doing to the environment, communities and families but disregard them,” said a survey respondent from a rural community.

To rebuild trust and ensure a successful energy transition, it is crucial to address these communities’ concerns genuinely and thoroughly. “Policies must balance environmental goals with the socio-economic and well-being of all affected populations, ensuring that the transition to a cleaner energy future does not come at the expense of rural livelihoods and environments,” said Mr Willmott.

Jim Willmott | PRA Chairman | M: 0439 451 473 | E:

Community Impact Survey_Final Report 2024

Property Rights Australia: Community Impact Survey Page