Call for clar­ity

Shepparton News - Country News - - NEWS -

A re­gional up­per house MP hopes the state’s plan­ning min­is­ter will soon re­lease a re­port with rec­om­men­da­tions on ac­tions for four large-scale so­lar de­vel­op­ment pro­pos­als for Greater Shep­par­ton.

‘‘So ev­ery­one will have a very clear un­der­stand­ing of and cer­tainty about how th­ese so­lar plants are to be lo­cated in the fu­ture,’’ State Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Luke O’Sul­li­van said.

Speak­ing on this year’s state bud­get in par­lia­ment re­cently, Mr O’Sul­li­van in par­tic­u­lar urged for the Lem­nos pro­posal to be re­lo­cated, given he be­lieved it would have a detri­men­tal ef­fect on the area’s farm­ing.

‘‘The prob­lem we have in re­la­tion to that par­tic­u­lar so­lar plant is that there are not the ap­pro­pri­ate guide­lines in place to give the coun­cil the tools that they need to make de­ci­sions on where th­ese sorts of so­lar plants can be lo­cated,’’ Mr O’Sul­li­van said.

He said bet­ter locations ex­isted, ‘‘without hav­ing to be on highly ir­ri­gated land’’.

‘‘The peo­ple up in Shep­par­ton, in Lem­nos in par­tic­u­lar and in all of the coun­cils around the state, are want­ing to see what th­ese guide­lines are go­ing to be in re­la­tion to the es­tab­lish­ment of so­lar plants, be­cause we do not think that they should be on valu­able ir­ri­ga­tion and agri­cul­tural land,’’ he said.

The Na­tion­als MP said there was no doubt so­lar farm de­vel­op­ments were needed, and spa­ces ex­isted for them, but urged they not be planned on prime agri­cul­tural land.

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