Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke took to the first day of Woodford Folk Festival to deliver the opening address, but ended up upsetting the crowds for pushing for nuclear energy.

As ABC reports, Hawke told the crowd, "The time has come when we've got to think big if we're going to face the big issues of our time … We're going to have to be prepared to think about changes that are quite radical," which was met with cheers.

However, when he started to advocate nuclear energy, stating, "Nuclear power would be a win for the environment and an essential part of the attacking that must be made on this grievous and dangerous global warming," crowds started to shout "no thanks". 

He also posited that geologically Australia is the safest place to store nuclear waste and that with the financial benefits, we could end Indigenous poverty.

"I have no doubt that countries who are producing nuclear energy would pay well for the storage of their nuclear waste."

Before the opening address went downhill, Bob Hawke led a rousing rendition of Waltzing Matilda with the Woodford crowd.