Large scale solar and agriculture -Conflict or coexistence?

 
NSW Farmers and the NSW Department of Planning and Environment will hold a forum in Wagga Wagga on 3 July to address concerns around the increasing number of large-scale solar proposals in the area.

NSW Farmers President James Jackson said members have highlighted significant concerns with the roll-out of large-scale projects, including potential devaluation of property prices, the loss of prime agricultural lands, and adverse impacts on the social and economic capacity of the region.  

He said the Forum, which starts at 6:30pm at the Mercure Hotel, will be an opportunity to have these concerns heard and addressed by the NSW Government.

“I urge farmers, landowners and members to come along and make their voices heard to the NSW Government, whether they have concerns or whether they want to highlight the potential benefits for landowners of some of these projects.”  

“Like any discussion on major developments, it is important to separate the fact from fiction - these Forums will provide a key opportunity to narrow down the real issues that must be properly addressed in the planning process when deciding whether or not major solar developments should proceed, and the terms on which projects are developed.”

“It is important to note that we have members who are gravely concerned about the roll out of these projects, and we have members who have or are considering leasing out land as a way to diversify their income sources, which is an important endeavour in times of drought.”

“This is a rare opportunity to gain direct access to decision-makers and show that regional and rural communities deserve a better level of engagement on local land planning issues. In the end if we as farmers don’t attend, we will not get our voices heard.” 

“I dare say if parts of Darlinghurst or Double Bay were being converted into renewable energy zones, those residents would hold similar concerns, and would be loud and forthright in raising those concerns with the government and the media.”  

Date: Monday 1 July 2019
Media Contact:  Michael Burt  | 0428 228 988 | burtm@nswfarmers.org.au