No light shed yet on solar

By Country News

The Nationals’ candidate for Shepparton Peter Schwarz is calling for Planning Minister Richard Wynne to release a report which will help decide the fate of a number of high-value agricultural properties across Shepparton.

The report from Greater Shepparton Solar Farm Panel concerns properties at Tatura East, Congupna, Tallygaroopna and Lemnos and remains on the minister’s desk while Shepparton community members anxiously await guidelines on the establishment of solar plants.

‘‘The Shepparton farming community wants to see their high value agricultural land and irrigation infrastructure protected,’’ Mr Schwarz said.

‘‘Appropriate guidelines are needed to ensure that solar developments don’t slowly eat up high value irrigated agricultural land by local governments while they could instead be established in other areas.

‘‘There is plenty of space elsewhere in the Shepparton area for solar developments.’’

Mr Schwarz also said local communities should play a role in developing the guidelines which impacted their agricultural properties.

‘‘This is an issue that certainly concerns the Shepparton community and they should therefore play a part in developing the guidelines.

‘‘Farmers are not against renewals; but they do want to know that their high-value agricultural land is protected,’’ he said.

‘‘The minister needs to urgently release the report into the solar panel plants so that people in the Greater Shepparton area can see the considerations that are in that report.’’