Solar farm forums shine a light on new planning guidelines

New planning and community engagement guidelines for large scale solar farms are expected to be finalised by the second half of this year according to the State Government.

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With 17 large land eating Solar farms now under development across regional and remote areas and with the Government saying 40 more are on the drawing board, the farming sector concern is growing.

It is estimated that if all solar projects proceed more than 30,000 square kilometres of land will be occupied by solar farms across the state.

Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham says specific planning guidelines are now warranted.

“The right planning guidelines need to be in place to ensure communities, developers, councils and investors are all on the same page.”

The Minister says the new guidelines will aim to inform and guide stakeholders, including local government, through the project development process, and ensure that projects meet their social licence to operate.

“Government officers have been working with local government, the Queensland Farmers Federation and other stakeholders to develop the new guidelines.”

Community forums will kick off from mid-April to provide information about the guidelines in the solar hot spots of Townsville, Dalby, Emerald, Mackay and Bundaberg.

State government planning and energy policy experts will be on hand to answer questions about the proposed guidelines, as well as solar farms and renewable energy in general.

Consultation opens at 9am, Wednesday 14 March 2018 via