Representative groups call for better protections.
SOLAR FARM OPPOSITION
Australia’s largest state farming organisation, NSW Farmers, is calling for a temporary ban on the construction of new large-scale solar farms in the state.
In a motion passed at the association’s 2023 annual conference last week, NSW Farmers agreed to call on the state Labor government to place a moratorium on large scale solar developments until “planning deficiencies” around plant decommissioning and remediation are addressed.
The calls by the union come amid concerns developers are not acting in the long-term interests of regional communities with their aggressive expansion of the technologies without adequate transition.
“Current planning and approval provisions for large scale solar energy facilities do not take into account the long-term interests of agricultural land, rural communities and the rural landscape following the ‘decommissioning’ of the facility,” notes on the motion say.
“Agricultural land, rural communities and rural landscapes are at risk in the future and there should be no further development approvals granted until these planning deficiency issues have been fully addressed.”
To address these concerns, NSW Farmers wants the state government to set up a fund for upfront remediation payment obligations on developers, owners and land holders, like in the mining industry.
The association also wants the Minns government to ensure planning approval requires the developer and owner of the solar farm to remove all materials taken onto the site.
The call from NSW Farmers follows a recent warning from Australian Energy Infrastructure Commissioner, Andrew Dyer, that landowners may wind up lumbered with responsibility for cleaning up renewable power projects at the end of their lifespan, by default.
Which we have already seen across the world with other ‘green’ solutions like mass windmills.
Reg Kidd, the former Mayor of Orange and Chair of the NSW Farmers Energy Transition Working Group, spoke out on why the union and residents feel this is such a big concern.
“If this was happening in, say in Sydney suburbs, there would be yelling and screaming!” he told reporters.
“But it’s okay, plonk it out here, you know, there’s not as many votes out this way and they’ll just lump it.
Kidd, who says he has had solar installed at his own regional property for 16 years, says there’s a lot of angst in the region about the prospect of major new transmission lines, as well as about the placement of “monster” solar farms on prime agricultural land, when other options exist.
Australian regional areas, and their precious land, are being transformed at a rapid rate.
According to the Clean Energy Council’s latest national report card, NSW hosted the majority of new large-scale solar projects completed and commissioned in Australia in 2022.
The Clean Energy Australia 2023 report, published in April, locates eight of the 12 biggest large-scale solar projects commissioned in 2022 in NSW alone.
Of course, many of these projects are owned by offshore companies and groups, including the 150MW Sun Top solar farm in the state’s central west that was bought by online retail giant Amazon.
In Queensland, we are responsible for hosting the very largest of the solar farm projects across Australia, topped by the massive one-million-panel project in Western Downs region.
Many commentators have described these ‘planet saving’ set-ups as “environmental vandalism”, and when you take a drive down the east coast of Australia, you soon begin to notice them very quickly.
But even so, it’s undeniable that ‘renewable’ energy is falling out of favour in some of the regions across Australia, who are the backbone needed to push back against this suicidal ‘net zero transition’.
“It should be a major concern to all Australians about the damage to the environment because of the extensive renewable projects which are under construction or in the planning phase.”
Opposition to the climate lobby is growing, and without any action taken, it’s only going to get uglier from here, as CSIRO plan to cover our beautiful lands in truly Bladerunner fashion.
Well done to the NSW Farmers lobby for standing up and demanding more accountability and control over an unprecedented shift in resources being driven by unelected offshore bodies like the U.N.
Let’s support our regions in this battle to have their voices hears, and hope it spreads further!
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