Tak­ing heat out of the so­lar de­bate

Euroa Gazette - - NEWS -

NA­TION­ALS deputy leader and lo­cal state MP Steph Ryan (MLA, Euroa) has again called on the Min­is­ter for Plan­ning, Richard Wynne, to im­ple­ment so­lar plan­ning guide­lines for lo­cal coun­cils.

Ms Ryan has urged the min­is­ter to ad­dress in­ad­e­qua­cies within the ru­ral land and plan­ning guide­lines, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to the con­sid­er­a­tion of so­lar farms to en­sure trans­parency be­tween so­lar com­pa­nies and lo­cal gov­ern­ment.

“The Vic­to­rian Gov­ern­ment’s plan­ning frame­work has failed to pro­vide guid­ance to lo­cal gov­ern­ment and commu- ni­ties where so­lar farms have been pro­posed,” Ms Ryan said.

“I have been con­tacted by a num­ber of con­stituents across the elec­torate who be­lieve that the cur­rent frame­work can­not ad­e­quately ad­dress their con­cerns.

“At present, Cam­paspe Shire Coun­cil is re­view­ing a plan­ning per­mit for a 30 megawatt so­lar farm in Stan­hope.

“I re­cently met with a num­ber of con­stituents di­rectly im­pacted by the pro­posed so­lar farm that strongly be­lieve that with­out strict plan­ning guide­lines, coun­cils are left with no op­tion but to ei­ther ac­cept or re­ject ap­pli­ca­tions.

“The ab­sence of th­ese guide­lines has cre­ated a lack of trans­parency for all par­ties in­volved.

“I have pre­vi­ously writ­ten to the min­is­ter about th­ese con­cerns.

“The min­is­ter should call in the ap­pli­ca­tion for this so­lar farm, as he has done with oth­ers within the Shep­par­ton re­gion, un­til such time as guide­lines for so­lar farms have been re­leased.

“It’s un­rea­son­able to ex­pect coun­cil to give so­lar farm ap­pli­ca­tions the thor­ough con­sid­er­a­tion the lo­cal com­mu­nity ex­pects while there are no spe­cific guide­lines.

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