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Australia's net-zero goal spotlights green energy land conflicts

Farmer resistance, scattered private projects complicate renewables expansion

An Australian solar power facility: Some plans for large-scale renewable energy are meeting resistance from farmers concerned about infrastructure cutting across prime agricultural land.   © Reuters

SYDNEY -- Peter Campbell is among a large group of farmers fighting a proposal to build a high-voltage electricity transmission line across Australia's picturesque Merriwa Cassilis plateau, about 300 km northwest of Sydney.

"A lot of family farming operations have been here for generations and have enormous ties to the land," said Campbell, who grows crops like canola, wheat and barley while running cattle and sheep on his 2,600-hectare property. "Why should I have to give up my family's ability to farm a highly prized and efficient piece of land for a public amenity when there is an alternative?"

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