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Sun. May 19th, 2024

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will be in Tamworth today to speak at the Bush Summit, but he is expected to be inundated by protestors.

In a significant breach of normal security protocol, News Corp media outlets like the Daily Telegraph and Sky News publicised the PM’s attendance at the event weeks ago. News Corp is the organiser of the Bush Summit, sponsored by Gina Rinehardt owned Hancock Agriculture, and bills the series of events as being “to celebrate and showcase regional Australia, address the challenges facing rural communities and identify and propose solutions.” Normally, the Prime Minister’s movements are never communicated more than a few days ahead so that protestors do not have time to organise and the AFP protection detail can have an easier time of keeping the PM safe from those who may wish him harm.

Today’s events in Tamworth are proving to be a good example of why the security protocols are required, with protest groups from the left and right expected to descend on the TRECC, creating havoc for the event and locals alike.

Barnaby Joyce will be leading a protest against renewable power, despite the extensive benefits and broad support for renewables across his electorate of New England. With a press conference announced for 8.30am, Joyce is expected to repeat the misinformation he often peddles about compulsory land acquisitions and other unfounded fears about wind and solar developments, along side a newly formed group called RATLAND – Renewable and Transmission Line Action Network – which believes they will have ‘hundreds’ of ‘farmers’ join the protest today.

On the other end of the political spectrum, Save Our Woodlands have also been organising a protest for some time, also in opposition to a wind farm development – but one in particular, in the Yarrowyck/Booralong area. While strongly emphasising they are not opposed to renewable energy, the group claims the proposal threatens to wipe out 35,000 hectares of woodland including valuable koala habitat.

Numerous other groups advocating for everything from those calling for better health care to stopping the proposed gas pipeline on the Liverpool Plains are expected to show up, although will likely be drowned out by the Joyce-led group.

Albanese will deliver the key-note speech at the event, proposing a ‘better deal’ for regional people, including promises to improve health, communications and transport infrastructure. NSW Premier Chris Minns will also be attending the event and is is expected to announce a doubling of an incentive for health workers who move to rural and remote areas.

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