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Corangamite Shire says renewable energy 'not a priority' amid solar farm push

ABC South West Vic|Matt Neal|March 23, 2022
AustraliaZoning/PlanningPhotovoltaic Solar

"Council recognises the need for new renewable energy generation in a hybrid system to support the state's energy transition, but notes that renewable energy development is not a strategic priority for Corangamite Shire," the submission says. ...The council voted unanimously last night to send a submission to Mr Wynne opposing the project after several councillors spoke against it at the meeting.


Amid plans to build a solar farm in its shire, south-west Victorian council says its gas and agriculture industries are priorities but renewable energy is not.

Key points:

  • An application to build a five-megawatt solar farm near Cobden in south-west Victoria is before the Planning Minister
  • It's the third solar farm proposed in Corangamite Shire
  • Councillors say they're concerned about the loss of agricultural land

Corangamite Shire has previously been a battleground for a solar farms, with the council fighting against a massive project at Bookaar and a smaller one at Bostocks Creek.

A new application to build a five-megawatt solar farm on 22 hectares near Cobden is before state Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The council voted unanimously last night to send a submission to Mr Wynne opposing the project after several councillors spoke against it at the meeting.

The submission states that "in planning for new energy in Corangamite Shire, council aims to prioritise and support its existing gas industry".

"Council recognises the need ... more [truncated due to possible copyright]

     

Amid plans to build a solar farm in its shire, south-west Victorian council says its gas and agriculture industries are priorities but renewable energy is not.

Key points:

  • An application to build a five-megawatt solar farm near Cobden in south-west Victoria is before the Planning Minister
  • It's the third solar farm proposed in Corangamite Shire
  • Councillors say they're concerned about the loss of agricultural land

Corangamite Shire has previously been a battleground for a solar farms, with the council fighting against a massive project at Bookaar and a smaller one at Bostocks Creek.

A new application to build a five-megawatt solar farm on 22 hectares near Cobden is before state Planning Minister Richard Wynne.

The council voted unanimously last night to send a submission to Mr Wynne opposing the project after several councillors spoke against it at the meeting.

The submission states that "in planning for new energy in Corangamite Shire, council aims to prioritise and support its existing gas industry".

"Council recognises the need for new renewable energy generation in a hybrid system to support the state's energy transition, but notes that renewable energy development is not a strategic priority for Corangamite Shire," the submission says.

It highlights "blue and green hydrogen" as opportunities it is investigating.

Councillor Jo Beard said that after the two previous battles against solar farms, she felt like the she had "deja vu".

"Every time I say we're not against renewable energy, but I think that's starting to wear thin for me," she told last night's council meeting.

"The state government have a net-zero emissions target and I feel like it's coming, [but] at what cost?"

The growing angst in Corangamite Shire against solar farms stems from concerns about giving up prime agricultural land for renewable projects.

Cr Beard said the state government needed to set down better guidelines around which parts of Victoria were best suited to solar and wind farms, so that they were not built at the expense of key farmland.

"There's such an ad hoc placement, whether it be wind or solar — there's not a strategic plan from the state government and it's seriously wearing thin," Cr Beard said.

"Renewable energy isn't our number one industry — agriculture is our number one industry."

Councillors also backed the submission's criticism of the Cobden solar farm's lack of community engagement, as well as a failure to complete a fire risk assessment.

Content truncated due to possible copyright. Use source link for full article.


Source:https://www.abc.net.au/news/2…

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