Aussie gov't seeks urgent talks with France over battlefield wind farm plans

Source: Xinhua| 2017-11-08 13:01:49|Editor: liuxin
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CANBERRA, Nov. 8 (Xinhua) -- The Australian government will undertake urgent discussions with France over plans to build a wind farm on a World War I battlefield.

The French government is reportedly considering a proposal by local energy company Engie Green to build wind turbines on the fields where the battle of Bullecourt was fought in 1917, resulting in the deaths of 10,000 Australian soldiers.

It is believed that the bodies of thousands of Australian soldiers remain buried in the field having never been recovered.

Australia's Veterans Affairs Minister Dan Tehan on Wednesday promised he would reach out to his French counterpart to get a better understanding of the project which he said has been "on-again off-again" for the last 12 months.

"The French people, like the Australian people, understand the significance of this land and they have the utmost respect for the sacrifices made by Australian soldiers on their soil," Tehan told the Australian Associated Press (AAP) on Wednesday.

"Australia enjoys a close working relationship with the French government when it comes to recovering the remains of Australians from French battlefields."

"The French take incredibly seriously ensuring that what took place 100 years ago is properly respected."

It has been estimated that the bodies of between 3,000 and 4,000 Australian, German and British soldiers who died at Bullecourt were never recovered.

"In the first instance I will reach out and get an understanding of what is happening from my counterpart there," he said on Wednesday.